H.C.R. NO.














requesting the united states congress to establish a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for members of the united states armed forces.




     WHEREAS, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2007, H.R. 1246, was introduced in the United States Congress on February 27, 2007; and


     WHEREAS, the purpose of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act is to enhance the readiness of the United States Armed Forces by replacing the current federal policy concerning homosexuality in the military with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and


     WHEREAS, gay and lesbian service members have served honorably throughout the history of the United States, including recent military service with distinction in arenas in Afghanistan and Iraq; and


     WHEREAS, the previous ban on gays and lesbians in the military was replaced with the National Defense Authorization Act of 1994, Public Law 103-160, commonly referred to as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy; and


     WHEREAS, a study released in 2005 by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO study) on the impact of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy found that nearly 9,500 homosexual service members were discharged between 1994 and 2003, thus ending their military careers and burdening them with a lifelong stigma; and


     WHEREAS, the GAO study noted that of the service members separated between 1994 and 2003, seven hundred fifty-seven held critical occupations and three hundred twenty-two had skills in important foreign languages such as Arabic, Farsi, and Korean; and


     WHEREAS, the GAO study estimated that the cost of recruiting replacements for the separated service members was $95,000,000; the Army, Navy, and Air Force estimated that costs to train replacements would amount an additional $95,100,000; and


     WHEREAS, the ability of the United States military to perform its mission is hindered when competent and qualified individuals are involuntarily discharged from military service because of real or perceived sexual orientation; and


     WHEREAS, current troop shortages in the military have resulted in extended active duty tours for National Guard and reserve service members deployed to the middle east in the "global war on terrorism"; and


     WHEREAS, many American allies in the war on terror allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel; and


     WHEREAS, in a January 2007 New York Times editorial, retired general John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was adopted, stated that conversations with military personnel convinced him that the policy should now be abandoned and expressed his belief that "gays and lesbians in the military would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces"; and


     WHEREAS, on December 7, 2007, twenty-eight retired generals and admirals released a letter urging Congress to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which also stated that "it is not the place of the military or those in senior leadership to make moral judgments"; and


     WHEREAS, in expressing their support for the repeal of the policy, the retired generals and admirals also recognized that the approximately one million gay and lesbian veterans in the United States had served the nation honorably; and


     WHEREAS, the Legislature and courts in Hawaii have protected individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to affirm equal protection for all people under the law; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the Senate concurring, that the United States Congress is respectfully requested to amend title 10 of the United States Code by repealing the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy concerning homosexuality in the military and to adopt a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for members of the United States Armed Forces comparable to that expressed in H.R. 1246 (2007); and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Secretary of Defense, and the members of Hawaii's congressional delegation.









Report Title: 

Military; Nondiscrimination Against Homosexuals