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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as we know it was introduced in the early 1990s when President Bill Clinton presented the policy as a “compromise” in the debate over whether gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women should be allowed to serve openly in the armed services.

If an individual was believed or found out to be same-gender-loving they were given immunity from being barred from the military. However, those who were openly gay were barred from joining the military.

Long before Clinton’s time, the same issue was alive and well within the black church, said Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, professor of Homiletics and director of Black Church Studies at the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA. And it began not long after integration.

Prior to integration, during, say, the Harlem Renaissance, a person’s sexual identity was not an issue, Fry Brown said.

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Source: | Mashaun D. Simon