U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons

Lindsay Church comes from a military family, and as a teenager, she planned to join the Navy right after high school. Her plans changed, however, in the face of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — the Department of Defense policy born on Feb. 28, 1994, that barred gay, lesbian or bisexual servicemembers from serving openly the military.

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Brofer

When the repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military, commonly called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” or DADT, was debated in 2010, some prominent leaders spoke against it in hyperbolic terms. Then Marine commandant Gen. James Amos said that gays serving openly in the military could cause a “distraction.” He went on to say, "When your life hangs on the line, you don't want anything distracting. … Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines' lives." He didn’t actually describe what gays would do that would cause a distraction.

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