According to our interviews, peer relations improved as a greater degree of honesty and authenticity “promoted increased understanding, respect and acceptance.” Leadership advanced because commanders can better understand and address the needs of their subordinates when troops are able to speak freely. One officer said the ban had hindered military leaders from helping ensure the personal readiness of their sailors: Commanders had been scared to ask basic personal questions lest they learn something they’d have to report. With the policy change, said the officer, “everyone from leadership down were relieved.” (…)
Our research on gays in the military adds to an emerging body of evidence that’s countering the long-held assumption that LGBT equality is harmful to society. This is a key lesson. After all, the public debate over same-sex marriage continues to hang on the question of whether it harms kids and families, another assertion that’s never been proved.
Read “The Last Word on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and share the findings of their new study: the repeal of the policy helped the military.