Conservatives and liberals agree that President Bill Clinton's effort to lift the military's gay ban was perhaps one of the greatest blunders of his tenure in office. Conservatives argue that Clinton should have left well enough alone; liberals believe that he should have ordered the military to accept homosexuals rather than agreeing to the compromise ""don't ask, don't tell"" policy. In this ground-breaking book, experts of both persuasions come together to debate the critical aspects of the gays-in-the-military issue. The participants consider whether homosexuals undermine military performance; whether they threaten heterosexual privacy; and whether the experiences of militaries in other countries have relevance for the United States. They also explore the human, organizational, and dollar costs of the present policy. Belkin and Bateman provide a thorough context for the transcripts of the deliberations, as well as a discussion of the implications of the participants' conclusions for current U.S. policy.
Aaron Belkin is assistant professor of political science and director, Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, at the University of California, Santa Barbara (CSSMM). He is coeditor of Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics. Geoffrey Bateman is assistant director of CSSMM.
Introduction - the Editors. - History Repeating Itself: A Historical Overview of Gay Men and Lesbians in the Military - Timothy Haggerty. - ""Don't Ask, Don't Tell"": Does the Gay Ban Preserve Soldiers' Privacy? - Does ""Don't Ask, Don't Tell"" Preserve Unit Cohesion? - Are Foreign Military Experiences Relevant to the U.S.? - What Does ""Don't Ask, Don't Tell Cost? - Openly Gay Soldiers Tell Their Stories: Steve May and Rob Nunn. - What Have We Learned?: - The Future of ""Don't Ask, Don't Tell."" - Appendix: The ""Don't Ask, Don't Tell"" Policy.