US Military: one year out and proud


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The Independent Online

It's almost a year since the US military repealed "don't ask, don't tell" - and a New York Times editorial argues that reformists were correct on all fronts.

A detailed report on the impact of repeal states that there has been "no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.” While a small number of servicemen are uncomfortable with the new policy of openness, the "morale of some gay and straight service members appears to have improved significantly."

The report's authors, however, did not address how the "cruel and unconstitutional" Defence of Marriage Act affected homosexual troop members; the bill, introduced in 1996, denies legally married couples of the same-sex access to the same federal benefits their heterosexual peers receive.

For troops this means "same-sex spouses are denied important military benefits, like discounted housing, surviving spouse benefits, treatment in military medical facilities, and medical and dental insurance." And the NYT editorial concludes that "all of this disrespects the service and the sacrifice of gay and lesbian troops, as well as the core military values of equality."