As lesbian and gay servicemembers and military veterans are celebrating the repeal of the military’s anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy — despite delays in implementing the repeal — transgender servicemembers and veterans once again find themselves left behind in the battle for equality.
Because repealing DADT did not end the ban on service by trans people.
“The military still puts trans people in the same medical category as pedophilia. They consider it [transgenderism] to be a medical disorder,” said Monica Helms, president and co-founder of Transgender American Veterans Association.
“Trans people still have to be deep in the closet. They can’t talk to anyone about their lives, or they risk being discharged and getting something other than an honorable discharge,” Helms added. “Because the kind of discharge you get can make a huge difference in what kind of benefits you can get.”
Showing posts tagged marines
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.”
“Get over it.” That’s the ultimate message delivered to marines by the top non-commissioned officer of the Marine Corps regarding the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).
Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett was recently chosen to be the senior enlisted adviser to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos. According to The Wall Street Journal, Sgt. Maj. Barrett visited a base in South Korea last week, where he delivered his opinions on DADT and the plans to repeal the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. military.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Sgt. Maj. Barrett brought out a small copy of the Constitution and referenced Article 1, Section 8. “It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.” He then asked if everyone in the group joined the Marines to protect their nation, going on to say, “How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?”
Sgt. Maj. Barrett concluded by saying “Get over it… Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”
- Air Force: expect to be finished training around June 30th
- Marines: expect to be finished training around June 1st
- Army: expect to be finished training around mid-August
- Coast Guard: didn’t have actual training, it was more of a non-issue
- Navy: expect to be finished training around July 1st
These are just the “expected” dates, which means that likely it’ll be after them that training is actually completed. Assuming everything works out by these dates, we’ll still have to wait 60 days after everyone is fully trained and the bigwigs agree that its okay to serve openly. We will keep you posted.
A HUGE thank-you to all of our LGBTQ and straight military spouses, significant others, and family members (may as well throw you guys in there, too). I know our service members appreciate all the love and support. Stay strong, and keep on loving your soldier(s)!
Finally found something for you guys. The Marines have been receiving training on DADT starting in February. It consisted of just one class. The Marines Corp have also released their training materials to the public. Now the whole branch hasn’t been through training yet, they are hoping to be done around the end of May. As far as the other branches go, I have no information as of right now.
Even if you have received training, you can’t start counting down from 60 yet. We have to wait “60 days after officials agree that implementing it won’t disrupt military readiness, recruiting, or unit cohesion.”
The article with more details can be found here.
Sometime over night we beat the 100 followers mark.
The tremendous amount of support we have seen lets us know that this is something that was needed and is important to the lgbtq community.
We are all working on getting you important information a.s.a.p but while we do that we want to hear from you! Share your experiences, submit your stories, ask us anything you want to know about DADT, our relationships, and other lgbtq topics.
Most of all, thank you for joining us in our effort to support lgbtq military relationships.