Military Gay Ban Going Down in Flames
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.