Military Fired 443 Servicemembers for Being Gay Last Year
That statistic comes to you from Servicemembers United, which opposes “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and seeks its repeal. It’s lower than in previous years: There were 627 such discharges in 2007, for instance. From a Servicemembers United press release:
“As expected, this record low in total annual ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discharge numbers reflects a continuing downward trend, as military commanders continue to ignore this law that is clearly outdated and which impairs their unit readiness,” said Alexander Nicholson, a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the current Executive Director of Servicemembers United. “But this new number still means that 443 lives were unnecessarily turned upside down in 2009, 443 careers were unfairly terminated, and military units unexpectedly lost a valuable asset 443 times last year as two wars raged.”
According to the group, that figure doesn’t include discharges from the reserves or the National Guard, so the full number of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” discharges is higher. Whether the law actually gets repealed this year or not, last month Defense Secretary Robert Gates took unilateral measures to curb its enforcement.