On September 20, 2011, one year ago yesterday, the US military’s ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ (DADT) policy towards gays, lesbians and bisexuals serving openly was repealed.
The rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals is a hot topic for many. There is some support that DADT negatively impacted the psychological well-being of our military men and women increasing the number of stressors that are risk factors for mental illness. And compromised mental health is not only problematic for the individual, it also threatens the broader military mission because wars are not fought by individuals acting alone, they are fought by highly interdependent groups of soldiers. Research conducted in the general population suggests that this additional psychological burden may put gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers at greater risk for mental health problems which, again, could compromise our military’s ability to function at its best. So, the repeal of DADT may have improve the mental health of some of its service men and women thus making the US military able to function better as a whole. Even DADT specific research that examined the effects felt after the appeal showed that there are no detrimental effects regarding the repeal.
No matter what side of the fence you are on in regards to the gay rights movement, it is tough to deny the impact that the repeal of DADT has had on the lives of our military men and women who now don’t have to hide such a huge part of their life. The Huffington Post has a slide show displaying the 25 most memorable moments since DADT was repealed and is a touching tribute to all the milestones achieved in the past year.