Sanford School Joins Call for Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Sanford School of Public Policy Dean Bruce Kuniholm, a former U.S. Marine, joined deans from eight other U.S. schools of public policy in supporting repeal of the United States military’s "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In a letter delivered May 26 to members of the House and Senate committees debating the repeal, the deans cited their shared belief in public service.

"If we allow some of our bravest citizens to fight only if they are willing to compromise the very candor and character that the military seeks to instill," they wrote, "we put those values at risk." The letter adds that the policy "deprives our country of some of the brightest leaders, and deprives individuals of the opportunity to contribute to, and to benefit from, military service."

Both chambers of Congress are moving closer to voting on a repeal of the 1993 law, which has effectively required gay men and lesbians who wish to serve in the military to hide their sexual orientation.  Meanwhile, the military has a study of the policy in progress, with a recommendation expected by December.

In addition to the Sanford School, the letter was signed by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan; Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas; John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University; the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California-Berkeley; and La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison.