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A fundamental conflict exists between the understanding of personhood in asylum law and its conception in military law. Asylum law in the United States and the United Kingdom recognizes homosexuality as a fundamental characteristic of personhood, which cannot be concealed. Conversely, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the statutory ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. Military, demands complete suppression of any indication of homosexuality. This Comment argues that, in light of the framework for examining personhood most recently articulated by the U.K. Supreme Court, the arguments in favor of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” are both specious and destructive. This Comment proceeds first by examining the understanding of personhood in asylum law. It then contrasts this understanding with the demands and restrictions that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” imposes on homosexual military personnel. Finally, this Comment concludes by calling for a uniform application of the view of personhood found in asylum law.


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7 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Civil Rights and Discrimination

    • Military, War, and Peace

    • Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Third World Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 31

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • E. Supp. 1

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022