Professional News
APA President Urges ‘Don't Ask’ Repeal
Psychiatric News
Volume 45 Number 16 page 7-7

APA President Carol Bernstein, M.D., reiterated APA's strong opposition to the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in July. The policy, in effect since 1993, allows all branches of the military to discharge service members who are open about being gay or lesbian. While it prohibits unit leaders from initiating investigations of someone's sexual orientation, the law does permit them to pursue an investigation if "credible" evidence that someone is gay or lesbian is brought to their attention.

"Our gay and lesbian troops and their families deserve support and acknowledgement for their service and duty to our country," Bernstein said in the letter.

In May, the House of Representatives voted in favor of repealing the policy, as has the influential Senate Armed Services Committee. Both votes were for a compromise that would delay a decision on repeal until after December 1, when a Pentagon work group is due to complete a review of the policy and make a recommendation to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about how to proceed.

President Obama called for an end to the policy during his presidential campaign and in his first State of the Union address. He backed the legislative compromise, indicating that he would make no final decision on repeal until the Pentagon review was completed. blacksquare

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