The Rise and Fall of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Official White House Photo by Pete SouzaThe largest collection of academic research on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal was published online this weekend in a special edition of the Journal of Homosexuality.

The collection entitled, “The Rise and Fall of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” is co-edited by Professors James Parco of Colorado College and David Levy of the US Air Force Academy. It includes four peer-reviewed studies by current and formed Palm Center scholars as well as reviews of a book and an e-book by Palm authors.

“This collection represents the most authoritative academic research into one of the LGBT movement’s great achievements, and I’m honored that Palm Center scholarship is included,” stated Professor Aaron Belkin, Palm’s director.

One of the new studies, by Palm’s former Senior Research Fellow Dr. Nathaniel Frank, offers an in-depth history of the repeal process, and argues that “DADT repeal succeeded…because the pressure of LGBT advocates ultimately shattered several key obstacles.”

Another study, co-authored by Palm Deputy Director Christopher Neff, underscores the importance of lobbying operations that Servicemembers Legal Defense Network launched in 2002, as well as SLDN’s introduction of repeal legislation in 2005.

In a study of civilian deference to the military, Palm’s Legal Co-Director and UC Hastings professor Elizabeth Hillman argues that DADT repeal’s excessive delays and repetitive studies illustrate “the steep costs and troubling consequences of excessive civilian deference to the armed forces.” Belkin’s piece, which he originally presented during a debate with Elaine Donnelly, argues that opposition to gay and lesbian service was grounded in paranoia.

Added Neff,” The history of how DADT repeal got jump-started in Congress is surprising and remarkable, and I’m so proud that my scholarship is included in this distinguished collection.”

The new collection is available online, and will be published next year as a book by Routledge.

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