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Abstract

In short, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) is the law that prohibits lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals from serving openly in the military. Despite the fact that the Obama Administration has yet to fulfill the campaign promise of ending DADT, many believe the question is more "when" than "if" it will be repealed. Much attention has focused on ending the policy, but it is also important to consider what might happen after repeal. This article briefly examines the history of DADT, major policies meant to protect service members from harassment they experience because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, and the reality of service members’ experiences with such harassment in order to determine whether anti-harassment policies have been effective. How can we best prepare for and deal with what might happen in the wake of potential DADT repeal? It concludes that prominent recommendations, while useful and appropriate, emphasize some approaches that have been ineffective in the past. It also examines some of these approaches in order to determine possible sources of past inadequacies as well as elements that should be especially addressed in the future.