There have been some extra rainbow sighting type events, such as uniformed members of the military marching in Pride Parades. But Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed a year ago on September 20, and none of the dire, apocalyptic, the sky is falling warnings have occurred.
… the smooth transition the military has made in allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans to serve openly in the military and calling on the White House, Pentagon, and Congress to embrace and advance the final work necessary to achieve full LGBT equality in the Armed Forces.
SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis stated:
‘We cannot forget – even as we celebrate this day – that there is still work to be done in order to reach full LGBT equality in the military. Even now, families of gay and lesbian service members, veterans, are treated as second-class citizens, unable to receive the same recognition, support, and benefits as the families of their straight, married counterparts. We must repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and all federal laws that prevent the military from providing the same support for all service members and their families. We cannot have two classes of service members’ …
OutServe co-founder and co-director Josh Seefried added:
‘Gay and lesbian military families sign up for the same service to our country, the same sacrifice, and the same risk. Unfortunately, right now their families do not receive the same benefits or support, and that can have a terribly detrimental effect on them.’
Another major issue is that of transgender service.
Currently, medical regulations prohibit transgender service, though OutServe counts among its more than 6000 members, a number of actively serving transgender military personnel. …
Equality is most often gained in step-by-step fashion, usually small ones, occasionally a bigger one. Repeal of DADT was big. But, of course, it was still only a step. As long as DOMA is in place, the military has three classes of servicemembers, some who get all the benefits – health insurance, housing allowance, etc. – and some who don’t. And a third class, those who are transgender, who still must remain “closeted.”
According to Think Progress, as well as SLDN and others, there are some additional benefits which bisexual, lesbian and gay servicemembers could receive, without the repeal of DOMA. This would require the Pentagon to
… revise its regulations to ensure equitable access regardless of the gender of servicemembers’ spouses. And the Pentagon is doing just that. Following the legislative repeal of DADT, the Pentagon began reviewing which benefits it could legally extend to servicemembers’ same-sex partners and spouses under existing laws. That review is ongoing.
But this still won’t result in equality. It will certainly be another of those good steps. An even bigger one, with many more people involved than related to DADT or even the repeal of DOMA, would be the passage of ENDA. The fact that the repeal of DADT has basically been non-eventful related to all the dire predictions, is an argument in itself that work settings won’t disintegrate into chaos if LGBTs (ENDA is inclusive) are provided equal rights and protections.
From The Advocate:
A survey from the Palm Center this week on the one-year anniversary of the repeal’s implementation found no overall negative impact on the military’s functioning. Even one-time critics of changing the policy, such as Gen. James F. Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, acknowledge the transition has been successful.
Providing the same right to serve in the military to transgender persons would have the same “no overall negative impact,” as would repeal of DOMA and passage of ENDA in society as a whole. No doubt there will still be those insisting the sky is falling, or will be any second now, but we still have people doing that related to race and gender. We just keep working toward equality, and enjoy the rainbows along the way.
(San Diego Pride Parade 2012 via Truth Wins Out)