4.Shortly after taking office in January 1993, President Bill Clinton
4.Shortly after taking office in January 1993, President Bill Clinton decided to take steps to eliminate discrimination, which he believed was occurring against gay men and women in the military. Without consulting with members of the military, he announced that he would be issuing an Executive Order banning all forms of discrimination against homosexuals in the military. There followed a tremendous controversy, played out in the public press and media, including threats of resignation by members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Ultimately, the new President backed down and agreed not to issue any Executive Order until a special commission (including members of the public and the military) had been formed and given the opportunity to study the problem and agree upon specific recommendations for change. This procedure was followed, and what resulted was the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” approach to dealing with homosexuality in the military, which remained in force until September 20, 2011.