Researching Inclusive Policy

The Palm Center conducted extensive research to build the intellectual case for inclusive military policy, investigating all aspects of LGBTQ military service in the US and in allied nations and assessing the impact both of having service bans and of replacing them with inclusive policies. We conducted original research in-house, supported the scholarship of academic and military colleagues, and authored reports, memos, explainers, and data analyses all designed to inform the public and policymakers of what the facts say about LGBTQ military service.

Leveraging rigorous, multi-method approaches in our research and frequently publishing our results in top peer-reviewed journals, we shared our findings even when they did not align with inclusive policy. We found it useful to continually iterate a single, broad message when possible: that research shows that inclusive service does not harm military readiness while discrimination does.

Below are examples of Palm’s most impactful research. The full collection remains available throughout our website.

DoD’s Accession Disqualifications Related to Sexual and Reproductive Anatomy Are Unrelated to Fitness and Inconsistent with Other Standards, July 12, 2021

DoD’s Transgender Ban Has Harmed Military Readiness, November 22, 2020

DoD’s Rationale for Reinstating the Transgender Ban Is Contradicted by Evidence, May 4, 2018

Discharging Transgender Troops Would Cost $960 Million, August 2017

Caring for Our Transgender Troops — The Negligible Cost of Transition-Related Care, August 12, 2015 (New England Journal of Medicine)

Medical Aspects of Transgender Military Service, 2015 (Armed Forces & Society)

The President’s Pleasant Surprise: How LGBT Advocates Ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, 2013 (Journal of Homosexuality)

One Year Out: An Assessment of DADT Repeal’s Impact on Military Readiness, September 20, 2012

Unfriendly Fire (excerpt), March 18, 2009 (New York Times)

Balancing Your Strengths Against Your Felonies: Considerations for Military Recruitment of Ex-Offenders, September 1, 2007 (University of Miami Law Review)

Gays And Lesbians At War: Military Service In Iraq And Afghanistan Under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, September 15, 2004

A Modest Proposal: Privacy as a Flawed Rationale for the Exclusion of Gays and  Lesbians from the U.S. Military, January 1, 2003 (International Security)

Financial Analysis of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: How much does the gay ban cost?, February 2006 (Blue Ribbon Commission)

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Is the Gay Ban Based on Military Necessity?, 2003 (Parameters)

The Effects of Including Gay and  Lesbian Soldiers in the British Armed Forces: Appraising the Evidence, November 2000