A gay group opposed to “Don't Ask,
Don't Tell” says they've uncovered evidence that the Department of
Defense has underreported discharges based on sexual orientation.
In a statement
released Thursday, Servicemembers United, a group that represents
gay and lesbian troops and veterans, said new figures obtained
through a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed their
suspicions about the official number of service members fired under
“Don't Ask,” the 1993 law that bans gay troops from serving
“These newly released data confirm
what Servicemembers United has long suspected – that the official
annual 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' discharge numbers are underreported
and incomplete,” Alexander Nicholson, executive director of the
The group says that the Department of
Defense has confirmed that on three separate occasions it failed to
include discharges from the National Guard or the Reserves in its
The newly obtained document from the
National Guard Bureau shows 630 discharges not included in the
official count, pushing the 17-year total number of discharges to at
least 14,055, up from 13,425.
“What's more is that there are even
more discharges that have yet to be disclosed, and we're still
working on obtaining those data,” Nicholson added.
Servicemembers United was among the
groups lobbying for repeal of “Don't Ask” last week on Capitol
Hill during Lobby Day 2010.