The President's Pleasant Surprise: How LGBT Advocates Ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell

TitleThe President's Pleasant Surprise: How LGBT Advocates Ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFrank, Nathaniel
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume60
Issue2-3
Pagination159-213
Date Published02/2013
Abstract

This article assesses the role of LGBT advocates in repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the U.S. Congress. It draws on the author's direct involvement with that effort as well as personal interviews and media evidence to consider the contributions of the Obama Administration, members of Congress, the media, and individuals and pressure groups in the repeal process. It argues that repeal succeeded not because of the effective implementation of a White House plan but because the pressure of LGBT advocates ultimately shattered several key obstacles including inadequate messaging and dysfunction and inertia among both politicians and interest groups in Washington. The article offers insight into the role of public pressure in forwarding social change.

URLhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00918369.2013.744666
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828032335

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