‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ and lesbian servicemembers

by CynthiaYockey on August 17, 2010

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” results in discharges of lesbians in numbers far above the proportion of women serving in each of the U.S. armed forces, according to statistics for 2009 from the Pentagon released by the Palm Center, a gay-advocacy group at the University of California, Santa Barbara:

Army: Lesbians accounted for 48 percent of 195 discharges under the don’t-ask, don’t-tell policy, even though women make up only 14 percent of the force. That’s up from 2008, when women represented 36 percent of Army discharges under the policy.

Air Force: More than half, 51 percent, of those discharged were women, who make up 20 percent of the service.

Marines: Nearly one in four, or 23 percent, of discharges under the policy were women, who make up just 6 percent of the Marines. That’s up from 18 percent the year before.

Navy: The sea service discharged 22 women, or 27 percent of the total ousted for being gay. Women comprise 14 percent of naval personnel.

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