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Government statistics show that one third of those dismissed last year under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy were women, although women account for only 15% of active duty and reserve members.
The statistics, which were obtained by the Palm Center and released on Thursday, could reflect deep-seated sexism in the military, or perhaps a specific bias against lesbians, but the nature of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy makes the issue impossible to probe, according to the Associated Press.
"Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said officials will not look into the matter because even inquiring about it might violate the 1993 policy, which says gay men and lesbians in the military cannot be investigated or punished as long as they keep their sexual orientation to themselves," reported the AP.
"If we did investigate it, we would have to ask questions, and we aren't supposed to ask any questions," Smith said, as reported by the AP.