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Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

 

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Discussions Were Worse Than You Think

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Don't Ask Don't TellNewly released documents show just how homophobic the discussions about the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy were behind closed doors.

Queerty reports:

“Homo[sexuality] is a problem for us,” Powell said, according to the notes taken at the meeting. He also recited all the same bogus fears that led to DADT, including the old predator canard; the notes say Powell was “concerned about forced association and immaturity of 18-year-old.”

The most offensive remarks came from Marine Commandant Carl Mundy, who 16 years later was still urging the president (now Obama) not to repeal DADT. According to the notes, Mundy said that the statement “I’m gay” was the “same as I’m KKK, Nazi, rapist.” Coming out “fractures teamwork” and tells the world “I commit [an] act Amer[ica] doesn’t accept.” Mundy wasn’t moved by the experience of other nations either. “It doesn’t matter what the Dutch have done,” he said. “We’re the best.”

Clinton was prone to stereotypes as well. “People I would like to keep [in the military] wouldn’t show up at a Queer Nation parade,” the president said, referring to the activist group.

How much things have changed in the last twenty years. And how much they are still the same.

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Gay Soldiers Living Openly in Wake of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Don't Ask Don't TellWhile the military policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the overturning of part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act opened doors more widely to gay people serving openly in the military, it didn’t mark radical changes to the way the fighting force looked or behaved. Instead, it brought the possibility of marriage and spousal benefits to soldiers that were previously denied. And, an opportunity to live more freely.

“When you come out and you’ve been out so long, it’s hard to just go back in,” said Spc. Corderra Dews, 24, who was living in Austin, Texas, and openly gay before he joined the Army in 2011.

While there are no solid statistics on the number of gay and lesbian soldiers currently in the military, a group of soldiers at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, spoke with The Leaf-Chronicle about life in the military before and after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell’ and the Army’s decision to extend benefits to same-sex spouses, furthering the full inclusion of gay and lesbian soldiers in the military.

See the Full Story at LGBTQ Nation

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A Marine Speaks Out on Marriage Equality

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Don't Ask Don't TellI slept with a gay man for six months in Afghanistan.

No one asked. He did not tell.

In 2005, I and 200 Marines in my squadron deployed to Afghanistan to support the global war on terrorism. We were stationed at Bagram air base, a deep bowl surrounded by snowcapped mountains, where it rained and snowed while the sun beamed, prompting one Marine to remark, “Welcome to Afghanistan, the only place on Earth where you get all four seasons and a rocket in the same day.”

We lived in “B-huts,” wooden houses with no internal structure, subdivided into “rooms” by flimsy plywood boards. Every moment was spent in close quarters: working in small offices, eating meals in the chow hall, sleeping in our racks, exercising. We saw each other at our best and our worst, shared secrets and fears, lost patience with and supported one another through the duration of deployment.

Sgt. Santiago and I spoke often, if casually. He routinely had one of the highest physical fitness test scores in our unit and never missed a chance to go salsa dancing stateside with fellow Marines, including our senior enlisted Marine and his wife, whom he persuaded to join a few times. He also proudly displayed his Puerto Rican flag in his barracks. Nevertheless, he was a reserved man, quiet, private. I assumed these were inherent personality traits. I didn’t realize that he was hiding something.

Authored By Roger Dean Huffstetler – See the Full Story at The Washington Post

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MEUSA Thanks the More than One Million LGBT Service Members and Veterans For Their Service

Monday, November 11th, 2013

This Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a veteran for his or her service. Also, take a moment to think of the men and women who are abroad putting their lives at risk so we can rest easy at home. Now, take it further and think about the partners/husbands/wives of those LGBT Servicemembers out there who wait for their loved ones to return. Or the LGBT veteran who walks for the first time into the hospital hand in hand with his or her partner, a silent bundle of nerves waiting to be called out and shot down. Most importantly, thank a veteran. You could be the one person who makes his or her day.

Read the full story on the MEUSA news blog…

USA: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Still in Force – for Transgender Troops

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Don't Ask Don't TellYou thought DADT had been repealed? Well it was – but not for transgender troops. Towleroad.com reports:

In the military, coming out as transgender still disqualifies you for service, a subject that USA Today tackles in a new article on the issue: “I was at the Pentagon when Secretary Hagel was saying we’re here to celebrate LGBT service,” says a transgender Army sergeant who joined the Army as a woman. The sergeant spoke on condition of anonymity to stay in the service. “I’m kind of looking around for the rest of Ts,” the soldier says, referring to transgender troops. Other troops could celebrate marriage equality, the sergeant says, but not the transsexuals… Because of the current DADT policy, it is unknown how many transgender troops are serving in the military. About 700,000 Americans (0.3% of the total population) are transgender, according to a 2011 study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Like their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, many transgender soldiers have served (and continue to serve) the country admirably in the US Military. And like gays and lesbians, they should be allowed to do so openly.

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