By Patricia Weber
At midnight on Tuesday Sept. 20, the military’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ (DADT) policy was officially repealed. There has been much debate about what would happen if the United States removed this ban on homosexuals serving in the military. Applications of past military members who were discharged because of DADT are currently being reviewed.
One couple got married in Vermont at midnight the night of the repeal. Navy Lt. Gary Ross and Dan Swezy exchanged vows after having been partners for 11 years.
Ross said, “[DADT] requires you to lie several times a day. Being in the military is extremely invasive. It becomes a web of excuses you make when you try to be as honest as possible but you can’t be honest.”
The repeal of DADT has brought up concerns as to whether or not the partners of LGBT military members will receive the same benefits as a traditional military spouse.
DADT is one policy in a long history of military policies on homosexuality.
Timeline of military policy on homosexuality:
1950: President Truman signs the Uniform Code of Military Justice, setting up discharge rules for homosexual military members.
1982: President Reagan creates a defensive directive saying that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” and people who engage in homosexual acts or stated they are gay or bisexual are discharged.
1992: President Clinton promises to lift Reagan’s ban.
1993: DADT made as a compromise under Clinton.
1994: Under federal court ruling, Colonel Grethe Cammermeyer is allowed to serve openly in the National Guard until her retirement in 1997.
2003: Former President Clinton calls for an end to DADT.
2006: The Supreme Court rules that the federal government can withhold funding from
universities that accept military recruiters in violation of their nondiscrimination policies. This law upholds DADT and was upheld in federal courts five times.
2008: President Obama campaigns on a full repeal of DADT.
2010: The House and a Senate committee approve an amendment to the annual defense
spending bill. The amendment would end the ban but no changes could take place until the Pentagon could reveal how the repeal would affect armed forces. On Nov. 30, a report is released saying gays are a low risk in relation to the armed forces’ abilities and effectiveness.
2010: Senate Republicans filibuster a December 9 vote on the repeal of DADT.
2010: December 15, House lawmakers approve a bill to repeal DADT, again.
2010: December 18, Senate votes 65-31 to repeal DADT which leads to sending Obama a bill to end the 17 year ban.
(Source: Google News)