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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Palm Center to close permanently on Sept. 30
2022-09-26

This article shared 614 times since Mon Sep 26, 2022
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The Palm Center—an independent research institute that uses scholarship to inform the national conversation about military policy concerning LGBTQ+ service members—will close permanently on Sept. 30 after running for 24 years and conducting dozens of pertinent studies.

Director Aaron Belkin issued a letter saying, "We've been planning our wind-down all year, and a new website showcasing our record is now live at www.PalmCenterLegacy.com . We're grateful to Admiral Mike Mullen for the kind remarks he offered on the occasion of our closing.

"Working with the Palm Center has been the honor and pleasure of my life. While it is time to turn the page, my Palm Center colleagues and I will always be grateful for the opportunities we've had to promote evidence over prejudice in making military law and policy."

The website military.com noted that the Palm Center was instrumental in researching and publicizing the service of LGBTQ+ military personnel under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT)—a Defense Department policy instituted in 1994 by the Clinton administration that sought to protect LGBTQ+ service members from prosecution and harassment but also prohibited them from enlisting or disclosing their sexual orientation if they were already were in the military.

The center rallied more than 100 retired generals and flag officers in 2008 to sign a statement against DADT, saying it affected military readiness.

Belkin added there are more items needed to be done, such as allowing intersex individuals to serve in the military.

The institute was named after Michael D. Palm, a businessman and philanthropist. Palm served on the board of directors of Gay Men's Health Crisis and was a strong supporter of civil rights. He died of AIDS complications in Telluride, Colorado in August 1998.


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