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JURIST - Feature: Military Controversy
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Military Controversy

DADT was a source of deep controversy in the military and social arenas of American politics from its adoption to its repeal. According to its supporters, DADT, codified at 10 USC § 654, was necessary to protect unit cohesion, military readiness, combat effectiveness and recruiting and retention in the armed services. Among these supporters is retired US Marine Corps General John Sheehan, who testified before the US Senate Armed Services Committee that the inclusion of homosexual soldiers in the Dutch military rendered its armed forces weaker and less effective and directly contributed to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

However, there were also numerous calls for the repeal of DADT. In November 2008, over 100 retired US admirals and generals released a joint statement calling for the repeal of DADT — claiming that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military "reflects the strength and best traditions of our democracy." JURIST contributor Aubrey Sarvis cited the support of over 100 retired flag officers as an indication that DADT "erodes our military readiness, is unjust and runs counter to the principles our armed services fight for."

Additionally, DADT faced criticism from gay rights advocates and human rights organizations alike — which claimed that the law violated both constitutional and human rights.

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