US set to end ban on openly gay troops

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US set to end ban on openly gay troops

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:24 am

US defence secretary to certify that repealing prohibition will not hurt military's ability to fight.


Two women, both active duty sailors in the navy, kiss during a gay pride parade in San Diego. Photograph: Gregory Bull/AP

The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, is set to end the ban on gay people serving openly in the armed forces, certifying that repealing the 17-year-old prohibition would not hurt the US military's ability to fight.

His decision comes two weeks after US military chiefs told Panetta that ending the ban would not affect military readiness. Dismantling the ban fulfils a 2008 campaign promise by Barack Obama, who helped usher the repeal through Congress and signed it into law late last December.

The move triggered vehement opposition from some in Congress and initial reluctance from military leaders, who worried that it could trigger a backlash and erode troop cohesion on the battlefield.

Defence officials said the announcement would be made later on Friday.

Obama is also expected to certify the change. Repeal of the ban would become effective 60 days after certification, which could open the military to gay servicemen and women by the end of September.

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy, adopted under Bill Clinton, has come under an onslaught of legal challenges, including a federal court ruling early in July that ordered the US government to immediately stop enforcing the gay ban.

Days later, however, the Obama administration appealed the ruling, saying that abruptly ending the ban would complicate the orderly process for repeal that had already been set in motion.

A San Francisco appeals court agreed, but added a caveat: the government could not investigate, penalise or discharge anyone for being openly gay.

The military services have conducted extensive internal studies and about five months of training to gauge how troops would react to the change.

A survey last year found that some two-thirds would not care if the ban was lifted. Opposition to the repeal was strongest among combat troops, particularly marines.

The bulk of the military has been trained on the new law, including a complex swath of details about how the change will or will not affect housing, transfers or other health and social benefits. In most cases, the guidelines demand that gay men and lesbians are treated just as any other soldier, sailor, air crew or marine is treated.

As training went on this year, senior military leaders said they had seen no real problems.

Panetta's predecessor as US defence secretary, Robert Gates, told the Associated Press that people had been "mildly and pleasantly surprised at the lack of pushback in the training".

There will still be differences, however, since same sex partners will not be given the same housing and other benefits as married couples. Instead, they will be treated like unmarried couples.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network, a national organisation representing gay troops, said Panetta's action was welcomed by gay and lesbian troops "who have had to serve their country in silence for far too long".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/22/us-gay-troops-ban


.......and why not? scratch

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Re: US set to end ban on openly gay troops

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:54 pm

I really don't understand why it has taken this long.

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Re: US set to end ban on openly gay troops

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:59 pm

sassy1261 wrote:I really don't understand why it has taken this long.

Exactly Sassy x

Why shouldn't same sex couples get the same benefits as married couples? Surely that's discrimination? Evil or Very Mad

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Re: US set to end ban on openly gay troops

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:01 pm

Feelthelove wrote:

Exactly Sassy x

Why shouldn't same sex couples get the same benefits as married couples? Surely that's discrimination? Evil or Very Mad

Agree FTL

Although you just KNOW someone will be along in a minute to tell you why it isn't?

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Re: US set to end ban on openly gay troops

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:13 pm

It's so wrong Seren, so very wrong No

It's a great move that gay and lesbian troops no longer have to "serve their country in silence". A step in the right direction.

However, same sex partners are totally entitled to the same housing and other benefits as married couples who are serving in the forces.

How can it not be discrimination? Feel free anyone to try to persuade me otherwise. Best of luck Evil or Very Mad


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Re: US set to end ban on openly gay troops

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:03 pm

America shock me being so far behind with regards to Gay Rights; only recently (in relative terms) did they officially remove laws forbidding homosexual acts.

Things are moving fast now though with the Democrats in charge, as with New Labour (one of their few great achievements was their work for Gay Equality) are making great advances Very Happy

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