LGBT MILITARY NEWS
Armed Forces Updates
FIRST LESBIAN GENERAL OFFICER
Brigadier General Tammy Smith
MARINE HOMECOMING KISS
US Marine's First Official Gay Kiss
HISTORIC GAY HOMECOMING KISS
US Navy's First Official Gay Kiss
REACTIONS TO THE REPEAL
Commentary About the End of DADT
GAY SOLDIER LEAVES LARGER LEGACY
War Hero Andrew Wilfahrt
All they ever wanted was for Andrew to be Andrew. At 29, he sat his mom and dad down at the kitchen table and told them his life was missing camaraderie, brotherhood. "I'm joining the Army," he said. The news surprised them. Why would Andrew enter the military, where he'd be forced to deny a part of who he is?
It had never really crossed the minds of his left-leaning parents. Yet, just as they'd done with all three of their children, they supported him. It wasn't easy. It became dreadfully painful. Then, on February 27, 2011, the Wilfahrts learned their oldest child was gone.
But with his death, his parents have taken up the cause of gay rights. Andrew fought for his nation in a foreign land. His parents' war is being waged in their home state of Minnesota. To them, it's about defending the Constitution -- protecting the rights of all citizens.
In a state that has produced GOP presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty -- who have made careers fighting gay marriage -- these parents of an American hero present a major challenge to the establishment. They'll take their battle to the Supreme Court, if that's what it takes. To the Wilfahrts, denying gays the right to marry is discrimination against a group to which their son belonged.
REPEAL OF DADT POLICY
Gays & Lesbians Can Now Serve Openly in US Military
December 18, 2010
The US Senate has finally voted to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy by a 65-31 margin. This repeal of DADT reverses the US military's 17 year ban on gay men and women openly serving among their ranks.
“Thank you Senators for pushing us one step closer towards full equality,”
-Joe Solmonese / HRC President
DADT was made a law seventeen years ago and is the only US law that punishes people for simply telling the truth. Since the law went into effect, over 14,000 gay and lesbian service members have been discharged from our nation's military simply because they were gay or lesbian. An estimated 66,000 gays and lesbians are currently on active-duty.
Senator Joe Lieberman said, "This historic day has been seventeen years in the making and would not have happened without the leadership of Joe Solmonese and the Human Rights Campaign."
SURVEY OF MILITARY MEMBERS
Courage Campaign Report on DADT
As of December 2010, 69,360 Americans -- including 12,462 veterans and their families -- have signed Rep. Patrick Murphy's Courage Campaign petition to Senate leaders to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The Courage Campaign also launched an advertising blitz on military web sites sending John McCain and Republicans a message that veterans and their families support the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Also, here is an important message from JD Smith (name anonymized), an active-duty servicemember who recently helped launch OutServe, an underground network of more than 1,200 active-duty gay and lesbian members of the military:
A few months ago, I was blackmailed under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
For years, I have served openly as a gay servicemember in the ranks. Most of my straight brothers and sisters in arms have been nothing but supportive. In fact, they are the ones I owe for saving my career under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
(From Rick Jacobs/ Courage Campaign)
SUSPENSION OF DON'T ASK DON'T TELL POLICY
Judge Orders Halt to Ban Openly Gay Troops
According to the Associated Press, A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday, October 19, 2010 immediately stopping enforcement of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, suspending the 17-year-old ban on openly homosexual U.S. troops.
The injunction goes into effect immediately, said Dan Woods, the attorney who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay-rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban’s enforcement.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips has suspended enforcement of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as a result of her earlier opinion in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States that the policy is unconstitutional.
Ordering the government "immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding" begun under DADT, Phillips's permanent injunction is about as broad an order as she could have issued in the case.
The government has 60 days -- until Monday, December 13, because the 60th day falls on a weekend -- to appeal the trial court decision. In the interim, the government could seek a stay of Phillips's decision from Phillips, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit or, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court.
Christian Berle, deputy executive director of LCR, praised the judgment in a statement.
"No longer will our military be compelled to discharge service members with valuable skills and experience because of an archaic policy mandating irrational discrimination," he said. "The United States is stronger because of this injunction, and Log Cabin Republicans is proud to have brought the case that made it possible."
Gay Veteran, Activist, Hero
"I passed." That's what gay
Iraq war veteran Dan Choi
announced today on his
Twitter page after taking
the skills test to re-enlist
in the Army.
In a tweet today, Choi said
he refused to lie on his new
application. "I was
discharged in 7/2010 from
the US Army because I told
the truth about my sexual
orientation and refused to
lie about my cherished lover
and partner," he
wrote on the application,
which he photographed and
posted on Twitter.
(From Lauren Frayer / AOL News)
GAYS IN THE MILITARY
Should Gays Be Allowed to Serve?
The military's top
uniformed officer declared that gays should be
allowed to serve openly in uniform, arguing that it
is "the right thing to do."
Adm. Mike Mullen's statement was the strongest yet from the uniformed military on this volatile issue, although he stressed that he was "speaking for myself and myself only." He told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday he is deeply troubled by a policy that forces people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."
Mullen said he knows many will
disagree about abandoning the
"don't ask, don't tell" policy
and said there are practical
obstacles to lifting the 1993
ban. But he said he thinks the
military can handle it. Mullen
is chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff and chief military
adviser to President Barack
Defense Secretary Robert Gates
told the panel he is tapping his
chief legal adviser and a
four-star Army general to lead a
landmark study on how the
military would lift its ban on
openly gay service members.
Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson and Gen. Carter Ham, who leads Army forces in Europe, will conduct the yearlong assessment.
on the Armed
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VOICE OF THE
Gay Military Signal is a monthly on-line publication edited by Denny Meyer. It is billed as "The Voice of the Military Rainbow Community."
Gay Military Signal is
dedicated to providing a voice to the movement to achieve equality
in America's armed forces so that patriotic American volunteers may
serve our nation openly and in pride regardless of sexual
Below is a list of advocate and activist groups and organizations that offer support, resources, and assistance to gay, lesbian, and transgender people who served in the US armed forces.
A L G B T I C A L Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama