Military Gay Ban Going Down in Flames

January 10, 2008 at 8:53 am 4 comments

Over 500 gay soldiers are serving openly and honestly according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network despite the ridiculous Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that requires soldiers found to be gay to be kicked out of the service. That number includes Army Sergent Darren Manzella who three weeks after appearing as an openly gay soldier in a 60 Minutes segment heard nothing from his commanding officers.

Even if no one is asking, Army Sgt. Darren Manzella has been telling anyone who’ll listen that he’s gay — without serious retribution so far from the military. Manzella, a medic who served in Iraq and Kuwait, has acknowledged his sexual orientation in national media interviews and again on Tuesday in a Washington news conference.

“This is who I am. This is my life,” said Manzella, who received a combat medical badge for his service in Iraq. “It has never affected my job performance before. I don’t think it will make a difference now. And to be honest since then, I don’t see a difference because of my homosexuality.”

To date nearly 12,000 soldiers have been kicked out of the military for being gay or lesbian in the DADT policy was approved in 1993 Bill Clinton. The number of soldiers discharged peaked in 2001 and has fallen since the start of the Iraq war.

60 Minutes Report on Gays in the Military Part 1

60 Minutes Report on Gays in the Military Part 2

In a related story, Bilerico has a post on the harmful impact of DADT on the children of closeted soldiers who must forego many of the military support services provided to families headed by heterosexuals.

Related:
Duncan Hunter Thinks You’re a Sissy
Bill O’Reilly Can’t Spin Gay Retired General
Another Reason DADT Has to Go

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Iraq, LGBT, Military, Politics, Video, War, YouTube. Tags: , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kip  |  January 10, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Of course the top-brass is backing off their stupid position, but it’s not because they’ve suddenly “seen the light”, it’s only because we’re at war, and they need as many bodies is they can get.

    Reply
  • 2. Michael Crawford  |  January 10, 2008 at 9:13 am

    True that. Just watch the 60 Minutes story. One of the military officers interviewed repeats every one of the stupid things said in opposition to racial integration. The British official interviewed points out that their experience with including openly gay soldiers in the British armed forces have gone smoothly and without incidence.

    If the British military can allow openly gay soldiers, why can’t the U.S. military?

    Reply
  • 3. Webster  |  January 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    As a pacifist (don’t tell me what an idiotic position that is to take, SOMEONE has to say “No” to war), I don’t want to see anyone in the military. However, institutionalized discrimination and bigotry has got to go–wherever it’s intrenched.

    Reply
  • 4. Michael Crawford  |  January 11, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Webster,

    I am not a pacifist, but I definitely think that the war in Iraq is wrong and was wrong from the beginning.

    I also believe that banning gays from serving in the military is flat out wrong. There is no justification for it other than to appease the prejudice of others.

    Reply

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