Gay Men and Lesbians in the U.S. Military: Estimates from the 2000 Census

Gay Men and Lesbians in the U.S. Military: Estimates from the 2000 Census

The military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy may require gay and lesbian service members to keep mum about their sexual orientation, but it doesn't prevent them from enlisting. The Urban Institute study Gay Men and Lesbians in the U.S. Military: Estimates from the 2000 Census (29 pages, PDF) estimates that more than 36,000 gay men and lesbians are serving on active duty, representing 2.5 percent of military personnel. And when the National Guard and reserves are included, nearly 65,000 men and women in uniform are likely gay or lesbian, accounting for 2.8 percent of military personnel. Moreover, the report notes, nearly one million gay and lesbian Americans are veterans.