CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For nearly a quarter-century, Harvard Law School refused to help the nation’s military recruit its students, because the armed services discriminated against openly gay soldiers. But in 2002, the school relented to pressure from the Bush administration and agreed to allow recruiters on campus.
Harvard law students protested the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on campus in 2005.
When Elena Kagan became dean of the law school the next year, she faced a moral dilemma over whether to continue that policy.
She said she abhorred the military’s refusal to allow openly gay men and lesbians to serve. And she was distressed that Harvard had been forced to make an exception to its policy of not providing assistance to employers that discriminated in hiring.
But barring the recruiters would come with a price, costing the university hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money.