The Pentagon discharged 250 service
members last year for violating “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the law
that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.
The figure covers the period between
October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the largest group
lobbying for the law's repeal, said the all-time annual low serves as
a reminder that the policy remains in effect.
“While even one discharge under the
discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law is too many, the 2010
numbers represent a marked decline from years before,” Sarvis said
in a statement.
In December, Congress approved and
President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that repeals the
Clinton-era law. But implementation won't begin until 60 days after
Pentagon leaders and the president certify that the military is ready
for the change.
Sarvis used the new figures to push for
an earlier than expected end to the policy: “But these numbers
underscore the need to accelerate the timeline for training and
“The reality is that investigations
continue and service members are still in danger of being
discharged,” Sarvis added. “We look forward to certification by
Secretary Gates, Chairman Mullen, and the President as we move toward
full repeal. Until we achieve full equality for all LGBT service
members, the job is not done.”