Showing posts tagged dadt

Presented With One Comment of the Day: Finally.


Presented With One Comment of the Day: Finally.


(Source: thedailywhat)

(Photo reblogged from theselittleiceberghs)


Michelle Obama Welcomes Gay Families to National Military Initiative

First Lady Michelle Obama “looks forward to including” openly gay service members in her national military families initiative with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy set to expire in less than 24 hours.

The campaign, Joining Forces, is a multi-prong national program launched in April by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden to support military families through public service outreach and partnerships with some of the nation’s largest corporations, among other efforts.

“The First Lady and Dr. Biden will continue to recognize and honor the families of all service members, as they have been doing since the beginning of Joining Forces,” Kristina Schake, Mrs. Obama’s communications director, said in a statement to The Advocate.

“After the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell takes effect, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden look forward to including openly gay and lesbian service members in events to recognize their service to the nation, as well as the service of their families,” Schake said.

The statement is similar to one made just prior to the White House launch event for Joining Forces in April. At that time, the White House had cited that DADT remained in effect and precluded participation by gay service members or their representative advocacy groups at the East Room unveiling of the initiative.

That decision drew criticism from some gay service member advocacy groups who said that inclusion would have been a symbolic opportunity to recognize families of gay troops — families who likely would not have been able to participate in on-base Joining Forces events prior to DADT repeal. “At the moment, I can’t even buy a stamp on base,” one partner of a gay service member said in April. “That’s pretty sad. Our primary interest is just being treated the same as other military families. We’re not looking for anything novel beyond that.”

As well as a general awareness campaign focused on the challenges that military families face, Joining Forces works with private employers such as Wal-Mart to secure military spouse job transfers resulting from new duty assignments. It also promotes greater inclusion of military families in entertainment programming via partnerships with Hollywood guilds including the Writers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America.

“[T]he truth is that as a country, we don’t always see their families, our heroes on the home front,” Mrs. Obama said at the April launch event. “These families have appealed to us, like a military mom who wrote to me and said, ‘Please don’t let Americans forget or ignore what we live with.’”

In January, the administration called on government agencies to better address issues in employment, housing, and education affecting the nation’s 2.2 million service members and their families.

(Post reblogged from ff4equality)

Not a story, but I figured you would appreciate it. Power point distributed by the Air Force for repeal of DADT training:
You don’t have to post it like this, ask wouldn’t let me send links, you know.


Thank you! - Kris

Delay DADT Repeal? Pentagon Says No

By Andrew Harmon


House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Bud McKeon and Rep. Joe Wilson have asked for a delay in “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, set for September 20, because the committee has not received a summary of policy changes on benefits and other matters, they write. 

“The Department is not ready to implement the repeal because all the policies and regulations necessary for the transition are not yet final,” the two Republican congressmen wrote in a letter dated September 12. “We would ask that the senior military leaders’ memoranda immediately be made public and transmitted to the Committee on Armed Services.” (Fox News has a report and link to the letter here.) 

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that the repeal date will stand, however. 

“The repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will occur, in accordance with the law and after a rigorous certification process, on September 20,” the Pentagon spokesman said. “Senior Department of Defense officials have advised Congress of changes to regulations and policies associated with repeal. We take that obligation seriously.”

Update: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis issued the following statement on the letter from McKeon and Wilson:

“This is another example of the hardcore opposition attempting to delay or undo ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal. I expect they will continue to look for openings to deny gay and lesbian service members the same rights and dignity as their straight counterparts. On the substance, Mr. McKeon and Mr. Wilson are simply wrong. The statute only requires that the new regulations be prepared — not issued — before certification.”

(Post reblogged from parkerkierce)


Don’t Ask, Don’t TELL

With the formal end of DADT less than a month away, GQ’s Chris Heath spent six months assembling an oral-history-of-sorts about what it was like to be a gay man serving in the U.S. military. The resulting piece, which appears in our Sept 2011 issue and runs a bit longer at, is funny, sad, horrifying and, above all, surprising. Life under DADT is both everything—and nothing—like one might expect. A brief sample below, from a heartbreaking section of the piece titled “Invisible Partners”:

Air Force #4 (senior airman, four years): “Right now our relationships don’t exist.”

Air Force #3: “I’ve had three deployments [while] with the same person. Every time it’s been ‘All right, see you later.’ All the spouses get together, do stuff. He’s just there by himself, fending for himself.”

Marines #2: “The relationship lasted for about four years, but I always felt like I was disrespecting him, to have to pretend he didn’t exist when I went to work. When I got deployed, he was there with my family when I left. It kind of sucked—to shake his hand and a little pat on the back and ‘I’ll see you when I see you’ kind of thing. And when you’re getting ready to come back, the spouses were getting classes—here’s how you welcome your Marine back into the family—and my boyfriend didn’t get any of that. I had a really hard time adjusting to being home. We tried to make it work for a year but he was getting more and more paranoid about people finding out about us. It killed me that he felt that way because of me. I don’t think we ever really had a chance, ultimately.”

Air Force #3: “When I was deployed, every Sunday we would sit down on opposite sides of the world and we would each order a pizza and we would watch a movie together over Skype. We weren’t doing anything bad except trying to spend some time together. But there was no ‘I love you.’ Certainly nothing sexual, or anything like what some straight guys do over Skype.”

Navy #2 (captain, twenty years): “Personally, I haven’t had a lot of struggles. The hardest thing that I faced was about eight years ago. I was dating somebody for about two years who had gotten out of the army. He was HIV positive, and I didn’t know that, and he ended up dying—it just happened very quickly. I am not positive, luckily. So I had a lot of difficulties grasping with that personally, dealing with his death, and I had to take time off work, but still not tell them. I couldn’t go to the doctor or the psychologist. There wasn’t really anybody to talk to.”

(Photoset reblogged from gq)

Someone Should Tell Bachmann: Our Military Leaders Ended DADT


Last week, as I watched the presidential debate in Iowa, I listened closely for a question or an answer that referenced the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) signed into law by President Obama last December and now scheduled to be final on September 20, 2011. After all, it was just a few weeks ago in New Hampshire that every candidate participating in the previous debate — with the notable exception of Congressman Ron Paul, who voted for repeal — voiced support for the discredited and discriminatory law and left the door wide open for reinstating it should they be elected president.

So, I was heartened as the debate came to a close and the issue had not been raised. I thought, “Finally. These candidates realize that this debate is over. Our nation’s military leaders, Congress, and the president have spoken. They, like most Americans, believe that all qualified Americans should be able to serve the country they love. We’ve moved on.”

Then on Saturday, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, in an interview with CNN, reiterated her opposition to repeal and went farther than she previously had, stating she “probably would”reinstate DADT if elected. Immediately, I began receiving emails asking the question, “Could she do such a thing?” Indeed, the answer is yes, and today, the New York Times explained exactly how she — or any would-be president who opposes LGB service in our military — could.

But the better and more important question is, why would she? Is it because she wants to appeal to a small base of supporters who do not represent the vast majority of the American people? Is it because she does not respect the recommendations of our nation’s senior military leaders, including two Secretaries of Defense, one of whom is the recently retired Republican-appointed Robert Gates who served under a number of presidents? Is it because she doesn’t understand that this is not the way we conduct military policymaking in the United States?

Here are the facts.

In virtually any poll, the American people overwhelmingly support the open and honest service of qualified gay and lesbian patriots in our military. They know, as conservative Republican Barry Goldwater so eloquently said, that you don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.

Indeed, in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year, our nation’s service chiefs reflected this view as they testified to Congress that there were no significant challenges during the ongoing training and preparation for implementation. The president, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, further reinforced this finding when they issued their certification to Congress last month, sending a clear and final message that our military is ready for repeal. And in this country, we don’t revisit major personnel policy decisions for our military based on which party wins an election every four years.

In a few weeks, DADT will be history. Now is not the time for Congresswoman Bachmann or other candidates to be second-guessing our military leaders, attempting to create uncertainty or unrest in the ranks, and shamelessly using our troops in order to score a few political points.

This is the time to rally around our troops, support the sacrifice and service of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, and move on. Certainly, we have more real and relevant battles to fight than to revisit one that has already been settled.

(Post reblogged from fuckyeahlgbtmilitary)
(Link reblogged from matthew---james)



End Of A Regrettable Era of the Day: President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen officially brought the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to a close today with the formal certification of its repeal.

“Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality,” said the President in a prepared statement. “In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met.  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days—on September 20, 2011.”

[ap / miamiherald.]


September 20th is the day we’ll all be waiting for, it isn’t fully safe to come out until then. Overall, its pretty safe but its better to be safe than sorry! 

Relax! Breathe! The wait is (pretty much) over!

- Kris

(Source: thedailywhat)

(Photo reblogged from alllovenoh8)

WSJ: Pentagon Will Certify It Is Ready To End Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

21/07/2011 22:21

By Julian E. Barnes 

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)—Top defense officials plan to certify on Friday that the Pentagon is ready to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military, officials said, and a landmark moment after almost two decades of controversy.

The move closes one chapter, but opens another. The military has now to resolve critical questions such as benefits same-sex couples will receive.

(This story and related background material will be available on The Wall Street Journal website,

While the military will be free to provide some services to same-sex spouses, like family support for spouses of deployed service members, it will be blocked from providing the full range of health, housing and education benefits under federal law.

Under the law passed late last year by Congress, the repeal of the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law will go into effect 60 days after the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that military readiness will not be harmed by the repeal of the ban.

The 9th Circuit Court of appeals has put in place an injunction preventing the military from enforcing the ban, which has halted any discharges under the policy and prevented recruiters from turning away openly gay recruits. However, until the ban is formally repealed, gay rights advocates have advised service members not to reveal their sexual identity.

With Friday’s actions the ban will formally disappear in late September.

Officials are likely to use the remainder of the summer to try and hammer out some of the unanswered questions about what military benefits same sex couples are eligible for. The military is also wrestling with other, more minor questions, like whether same sex unions can be performed in military chapels.

With the repeal in place, many senior military officials have said privately they are personally in favor of extending equal rights to same sex couples. Advocates are counting on those officers to make the case to Congress that current law should be changed.

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