This arrived in our inbox yesterday but neglected to post it. It comes courtesy of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a non-profit devoted to defending members of the military who are disciminated against by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
According to the report, the discharge rate of women from the armed services under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is double their percentage of the forces themselves. That is: women make up 15% of the military, yet account for 30% of discharges.
Distressing numbers, to be sure, but we wonder: are these numbers because a majority of women in service are lesbians, or are the lesbians in the army not slick enough? The full report is after the jump.
For more information on SLDN, check out their website: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Women Continue to Be Disproportionately Impacted by ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, Says Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
9/5/2006 4:43:00 PM
To: National Desk
Contact: Rebecca Sawyer of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, 202-328-3244, ext. 102 or [email protected]
WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 /U.S. Newswire/ — Women continue to be discharged at twice the rate of their presence in the armed forces under the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law banning openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, according to new data obtained by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). While women account for approximately 15 percent of the armed forces, they totaled 30 percent of those dismissed under the gay ban in FY2005. In all, 219 women out of a total of 726 service members were discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Army, reported discharging 146 women in 2005; the Navy, 31; the Air Force, 28; and the Marine Corps, 14.
“Women have a long and rich history of service to our country,” said SLDN executive director C. Dixon Osburn. “Our nation is safer and more secure because of the contributions made by all women, including lesbian and bisexual women, in our armed forces. It is high time we honored the service of these patriotic women by repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ once and for all.”
An October 2004 Urban Institute study revealed the long history of service by the lesbian community. The study revealed that not only do the rates of service by coupled lesbians surpass that of other women, but that they serve longer than other women. Of women ages 18-67 who served in the armed forces, over 80 percent of coupled lesbians reported having served more than two years, compared with 74 percent of other women.