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Today in legal history...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Retired US general claimed gays weakened Dutch military before US Senate
Garrett Eisenhour at 12:00 AM ET

On March 19, 2010, retired US Marine Corps General John Sheehan testified before the US Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) that he believed that the severity of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian civil war was caused partially by the Dutch military's decision to allow openly gay soldiers to serve in combat. Sheehan, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, argued that several European nations that allow openly gay soldiers to serve, as part of a plan to "socialize their military," rendered their armed forces weaker and much less effective. The SASC hearing was an evaluation of the military's controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy following the introduction of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010 in the US Senate, which would allow openly gay soldiers to serve in the military. In December 2010, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 was signed in to law by President Barack Obama in December 2012 and the took legal effect on September 20, 2011

Read comprehensive coverage of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in Features.

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