“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Does The Gay Ban Undermine The Military’s Reputation

by Aaron Belkin and Melissa Sheridan Embser-Herbert January 1, 2008

Armed Forces and Society, Volume 34 Number 2

This article asks what impact, if any, the “don’t ask, don’t tell”policy might have on the U.S. military’s reputation. Original empirical research is presented to suggest that the policy harms the military’s reputation in four ways: the policy is inconsistent with public opinion, it prompts many journalists to criticize the armed forces while attracting almost no favorable media coverage, it provides a vehicle for antimilitary protesters to portray military culture as conflicting with widely accepted civilian values, and it is inconsistent with the views of junior enlisted service members.