The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security discharged 261 gay and lesbian troops last year under the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, according to Servicemembers United.
The policy, which has since been legislatively repealed, is still technically in effect. President Barack Obama signed the repeal into law late last year but it must be certified by military leaders and the president. After certification, the ban will remain law for 60 days.
No indication has been made about the process used to certify the bill or how long the process will take.
Servicemembers United: Military discharged 261 under DADT in 2010
“While this latest official discharge number represents an all-time annual low, it is still unusually high considering that the Secretary of Defense issued a directive half-way through the fiscal year to make it much harder for military units to discharge troops under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,'” said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, in a press release today.
“Despite this law clearly being on its deathbed at the time, 261 more careers were terminated and 261 more lives were abruptly turned upside down because of this policy,” Nicholson added.
Official figures say that more than 13,500 gay and lesbian servicemembers have been discharged under DADT, though Servicemembers United says that the number is at least 14,316 because National Guard discharge numbers are often omitted from the official tally.