Thomas C. Sorensen Seminar: Should “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Be Maintained or Lifted?

142 Copeland Hall, University of Nebraska-Kearney

James Bowman, The Ethics and Public Policy Center
Jarrod Chlapowski, Human Rights Campaign

Sponsored by:
Thomas C. Sorensen Public Policy Seminar Series
American Democracy Project
Locke and Key Society

Since 1993, openly gay individuals have been prohibited from serving in the United States Armed Forces by a combination of both federal statute and executive order. Gay individuals can serve in the military, but cannot be asked about their sexual orientation, and will be discharged if they disclose it. Popularly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," this policy has been controversial since its inception, and President Obama has recently vowed to end it. Discussants James Bowman (The Ethics and Public Policy Center) and Jarrod Chlapowski (Servicemembers United) will offer competing perspectives and arguments for maintaining or repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, American Democracy Project at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the Locke and Key Society, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences through the Thomas C. Sorensen Policy Seminar Series. The event is free and open to students, staff, faculty, and community members.

James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is a contributor to Harper’s, The National Interest, The Public Interest, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Evening Standard of London, Scotland on Sunday, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph of London, The American Enterprise, Reason, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. He has recently written a book entitled Honor: A History.

Jarrod Chlapowski enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2000 and trained as a Korean linguist and cryptologic voice interceptor. He worked as an interpreter and translator in Korea, supporting the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion. He was awarded both the Army Achievement Medal and the Army Commendation Medal, but after witnessing the discharges of fellow service members, Chlapowski chose not to re-enlist because of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Since 2005, Jarrod has been actively involved in developing numerous public education initiatives geared toward putting a human face on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” issue, and has been featured in 60 Minutes and many other media stories.

Click here to read and listen to NET Radio’s coverage of the event.


James Bowman for Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell (MP4, 5 minutes)

Jarrod Chlapowski against Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell (MP4, 5 minutes)

Channel 10-11 News Bite about the Event (MP4, 1 minute)

Event Video (Vimeo, 64 minutes)