Key military specialists discharged under 'don't ask, don't tell'
By BETH FOUHY
Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO -- Even as concerns about military troop strength in Iraq prompted Congress to authorize thousands of new soldiers for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, government data shows that nearly 10,000 military personnel - including linguists, nuclear warfare experts and other key specialists - have been discharged for homosexuality under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The statistics, obtained from the Defense Manpower Data Center and analyzed by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara, offered a detailed profile of those discharged, including job specialty, rank, and years spent in the service.
"The justification for the policy is that allowing gays and lesbians to serve would undermine military readiness," said Aaron Belkin, author of the study, which will be released Monday. "For the first time, we can see how it has impacted every corner of the military and goes to the heart of the military readiness argument."
Adopted in 1994, the "don't ask, don't tell" policy allows gays to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation private and do not engage in homosexual acts.
PrideFest 2004 is celebrated at Sunset Station today
6/20/2004 3:54 PM
By: News 9 San Antonio Staff
Thousands are expected to pack Sunset Station today as San Antonio's gay and lesbian community celebrates PrideFest 2004.
The theme for this year's festival is "power of pride, building community and relationships."