“Despite regulations and public protestations to the contrary, the military needed able-bodied men to fight its war and was quite ready to look the other way if some of them were homosexual.
As early as 1966, when Vietnam manpower needs first mounted, the Pentagon issued a directive to local draft boards requiring that potential draftees claiming homosexuality be required to submit ‘proof,’ according to later reports from gay organizers. The Defense Department later said a search of files turned up no such directive, but from that year onward, draft boards clearly did begin demanding evidence of homosexuality for gay claimants, either signed affidavits from sex partners or the sworn statement of a psychiatrist. The catch, of course, was that in forty-nine of the fifty states, confessing to a homosexual act also meant confessing to a felony, one that was sometimes punishable by twenty years in prison.
When publicly pressed to state its policy on admitting gays, the Defense Department asserted that it would not allow homosexuals to serve because, as Colonel M. P. DiFusco wrote at the time, ‘The presence of homosexuals would seriously impair discipline, good order, morals and the security of our armed forces.”
– Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 65.