In 1993, new laws and regulations pertaining to homosexuality and U.S. military service came into effect reflecting a compromise in policy. This compromise, colloquially referred to as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in same-sex acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Under this policy, but not the law, service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their “same-sex orientation.” The law itself does not prevent service members from being asked about their sexuality. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained politically contentious.
So in a nut shell: So long as no one found out your were gay, you were okay to risk life and limb in service to your country. Sweet. Basically what we already had. Way to sell out.
Or so I thought
Then someone pointed out that it WAS important. Because it was the first acknowledgement that gay people were in the forces. Up until then, officially, there were no gay people in the forces. Because if you were gay, you were out. *confused* ofcourse there were gay in the military before, and they had to hide it, and now thanks to DADT they still have to hide it.
AH, But they officially exist. So we have gone from "no gays in the military" to "no open gays in the military".. I guess I can see where it was a start.
"Do you think life changed after slavery was abolished?"
"Yep, so people just walked off the cottonfeilds and put on suits and got office jobs?"
"It was a start..."
So to all you brave folks who had to swallow the bitter pill of DADT, thanks. I get it now. It was a start.