What Is the Ethical Impact of Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Audio file

Ken Warnock and Denise Brogan-Kator, both veterans and LGBT activists/advocates talk about the status of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law and the prospects for its repeal during the Obama administration. As Ken tells us, the same old and tired arguments based on LGBT stereotypes and ignorance of military conditions in the field, used to push through the law in 1993, are still the same old and tired arguments called on to resist repeal of the law today.  Further, as Denise points out, in recent surveys large majorities of Americans favor a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Assuming a change in the law is coming soon may be premature, but shouldn't it be about military readiness, as the military top brass so often remind us? So, we asked Ken and Denise: what has the impact of this law been? 

What are the ethical dilemmas the current law poses for LGBT soldiers now serving and wishing to serve their country? And what are the ethical dilemmas of those advising American soldiers serving in an institution where their sexual identity is grounds for discharge?

And finally, what are the consequences to American military leadership when our own laws and values, based on equal protection and a bill of rights, do not include equal protection for all soldiers now fighting for their country in the name of  those same values?


This conversation is the second in our a2ethics.org Military and Veterans' Affairs series.

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