Press Room

Military and Civilian Professors Say That “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Debate is Over

Sub-Heading: 
30 Scholars Conclude that Prejudice is the Only Remaining Rationale for Gay Ban
Release Date: 
November 30, 2010
Press Contact: 
Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123, cathy@rennacommunications.com
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November 30, 2010, Santa Barbara, CA. - Today, the Palm Center issued a joint statement from 30 professors and scholars in response to the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group Report on gays in the military:

“The debate about the evidence is now officially over” according to current and former academics at the Army War College, Naval Academy, West Point, Air Force Academy, Naval Post Graduate School, Naval War College, Air Command and Staff College and National Defense University as well as civilian universities including Harvard, Yale and Princeton. They add: “The only remaining rationale for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is prejudice.”

The joint statement responds to the Pentagon’s release of results from a nine-month review of the impact of repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.” The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings on the report this week.

Commenting on forthcoming Senate deliberations, the scholars conclude that, “In light of the report’s findings, this month’s debate in Congress is about one thing and one thing only: Will prejudice continue to determine military policy or not?”

The full statement and list of signatories follows:

THE DEBATE IS OVER.  THE ONLY QUESTION LEFT IS WHETHER PREJUDICE WILL
PREVAIL

We write as scholars who have studied the military for decades. The release of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Working Group report on gays in the military echoes more than 20 studies, including studies by military researchers, all of which reach the same conclusion: allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly will not harm the military. Unsurprisingly, the new Pentagon study, which is based on exhaustive research, confirms that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” poses little if any risk to the armed forces. We hope that our collective statement underscores that the debate about the evidence is now officially over, and that the only remaining rationale for “don’t ask, don’t tell” is prejudice. In light of the report’s findings, this month’s debate in Congress is about one thing and one thing only: will prejudice continue to determine military policy or not?


Signatories:

Professor John T. Ackerman, Air Command and Staff College*

Professor Frank J. Barrett, Naval Postgraduate School*

Lt. Col. Allen Bishop, USA (ret.), former professor,
U.S. Military Academy at West Point*

Professor Donald Campbell, U.S. Military Academy at West Point*

Dr. Kathleen M. Campbell, U.S. Military Academy at West Point*

Professor Martin L. Cook, Admiral James Bond Stockdale Chair of Professional Military Ethics,
United States Naval War College*

Lt. Col. Edith A. Disler, USAF (ret.), former professor,
U.S. Air Force Academy*

Professor Craig A. Foster, United States Air Force Academy*

Professor Gregory D. Foster, National Defense University*

Professor George R Lucas Jr, U.S. Naval Academy*

Professor Steven M. Samuels, United States Air Force Academy*

Professor Richard Schoonhoven, United States Military Academy at West Point*

Professor Aaron Belkin, San Francisco State University

Professor Margot Canaday, Princeton University

Professor Neta C. Crawford, Boston University

Professor Cynthia Enloe, Clark University

Eugene R. Fidell, Senior Research Scholar in Law and Florence Rogatz
Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School

Dr. Nathaniel Frank, Author, Adjunct Faculty, New York University

Professor Hugh Gusterson, George Mason University

Janet Halley, Royall Professor, Harvard Law School

Professor Gregory M. Herek, University of California, Davis

Professor Elizabeth L. Hillman University of California Hastings College of the Law

John D. Hutson, RADM, JAGC, USN (ret.), President and Dean,
University of New Hampshire School of Law

Professor Janice H. Laurence, Temple University

Professor Catherine Lutz, Watson Institute, Brown University

Captain Lory Manning, USN (ret), Director, Women in the Military Project,
Women's Research & Education Institute

Professor Diane H. Mazur, University of Florida

Professor

George Reed, University of San Diego, former Director of Command and Leadership Studies, U.S. Army War College*

Professor Michael Sherry, Northwestern University

Professor David Vine, American University [USA]

Non-military institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only, and do not convey the institutions’ positions.

*The views expressed by faculty at US Government Agencies are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of their Service, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.