Founded in 1993, SLDN's principal objective was to overturn the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy prohibiting openly gay persons from serving in the armed forces. A non-profit, they provide legal services, attempt to ensure that discrimination cases are prosecuted, and attempt to educate the public and legislators on the issue of gays in the armed forces. In 2012, SLDN announced that it was merging with OutServe, and organization of active LGBT members of the military.
The collection documents the organization, its work, and its efforts to have the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy prohibiting openly gay persons from serving in the U.S. military repealed. The collection includes correspondence, case files, briefs,memoranda, press releases, articles and clippings, annual reports, legislative documents, training and procedures manuals, legal records, reports, publications and periodicals.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Records, 1877-2011, Archives Center, National Museum of American History