A key Senate vote looms tomorrow in the effort to repeal DADT. Meanwhile, the Williams Institute has just released a new report on discharges documenting that women and persons of color are disproportionately affected by the military's policy and that the racial and gender skewing has increased over time.
Since the policy took effect, more than 13,000 service members have been discharged. Not surprisingly, the rate has decreased since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. As the annual number of discharges fell, however, the proportion of women and persons of color rose.
- For women, who comprise 14 to 15% of military personnel, the share of DADT discharges rose from 22% in 1997 to 39% in 2009.
- For non-white, non-Hispanic members, who comprise about one-third of personnel, the share of discharges rose from 23% in 1997 to 45% in 2008.
How many reasons do we need to end this policy?