Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ends

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ends — See the Passionate Protests Through the Years

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ends — See the Passionate Protests Through the Years

"You don't have to be straight to shoot straight," read one creative t-shirt protesting the military's ban on gay Americans serving openly. Today the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell" officially ended after almost 18 years.

"Don't ask, don't tell," instituted under Bill Clinton, was supposed to be a compromise of sorts. It prohibited discrimination or harassment against closeted gay or bisexual soldiers, while simultaneously banning or discharging openly gay soldiers. But in practice, it meant that gay or bisexual men and women who wanted to serve their country had to hide who they were, and it also meant that many valuable Americans were turned away from duty or discharged because of their sexuality.

Now that it's over, all Americans can serve regardless of their sexuality, and discharged servicemembers can re-enlist if they choose. It took a lot of passionate advocacy to get here today. Let's take a look back at some public protests of "don't ask, don't tell" over the years now.

Source: Getty
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