CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Formalizing the Ban: My Experience in the Reagan Administration

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) is a success story. As of September 20, 2011, one of the most egregious cases of modern day government-sanctioned discrimination has been overturned. But my (Lawrence Korb) involvement with military policy toward gays and lesbians began early in our country’s journey toward open service—18 years before the creation of DADT and 30 years before the Obama Administration successfully opened the armed forces to gay and lesbian service members. In 1981, I joined the Pentagon shortly after the Carter administration announced a new Pentagon policy stating that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” As Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations, and Logistics, the responsibility of writing the directive to implement this ban fell to my office. In this article, I detail my recollections from this period in American military history: the codification of the gay ban in U.S. Department of Defense policy.

Read more here.

This article was originally published in Journal of Homosexuality.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org