As repeal of the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” was occurring “uneventfully,” critics of repeal repeatedly noted that the other shoe had yet to drop on certain points of controversy.
For example, how would the military handle the potential of homosexuals wanting to attend marriage seminars or retreats — when the chaplains who lead them may not affirm a homosexual lifestyle, and the troops who attend them may theologically disagree with homosexuality?
It would seem the shoe finally dropped — and homosexual advocates have claimed “discrimination.”
For its part, the Air Force appears to have been the first service to publish explicit guidance on how to handle such situations:
When you advertise a [Marriage Care] retreat, announce the chaplain who will be leading the event and the chaplain’s endorser. If the chaplain is permitted to train same-gender couples in a MC event, then you may register all eligible married couples. However, if the chaplain is not permitted to train same-gender couples in a MC event, be prepared to offer…a MC event at another base or at a later date to a same-gender married couple.
If a same-gender married couple will be attending a MC event, make this known to the other couples as they register. If those couples choose not to register for this event, be prepared to offer them…a MC event at another base or at a later date.
As was discussed at the time, the Air Force has recognized Read more
Occurring fairly regularly since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, another news article characterizes the “non-event” of the decision to allow homosexuals to openly serve in the US military.
[Lt Jonathan] Roman and two other Fort Gordon personnel said they have experienced limited instances of discrimination since the repeal was enacted in September 2011.
Similar articles have come out every few months with the same caveats — interrupted occasionally by an article that says the military is “struggling” with this “non-event.”
One question the press hasn’t seemed to consider: Have heterosexuals or religious troops experienced discrimination since repeal?
The Stars and Stripes highlights the issues with open homosexuals trying to obtain official status while serving with US forces in Korea:
Romel Ballesteros can drive on post, drop his sons off at school, sign in guests and use the bank. But he can’t put gas in the family car or shop for groceries.
The stay-at-home father of two won’t even be allowed to watch his sons visit Santa Claus at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan’s post exchange during the Christmas season.
Ballesteros is married to a man…
The article seems to imply the US military is to blame: Read more
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel “blasted” nine states whose National Guard bureaus have refused to process requests for homosexual benefits at their state facilities. In his Oct 31 speech to the Anti-Defamation League, Hagel said
several states today are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities. Not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, but their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.
This is wrong. It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.
The situation is intriguing, because by calling these states “wrong,” Secretary Hagel appears to be calling the citizens who voted state laws into place “wrong.” If a state has a constitutional amendment that refuses to recognize a homosexual relationship — an amendment passed by the citizens of the state — it naturally follows that the offices of the state, including its National Guard, would adhere to those laws.
Secretary Hagel continued: Read more
Since the Supreme Court overturned a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, many outlets have run news stories about homosexuals obtaining military benefits, some published by the military itself.
The US Army made a point of publishing a press release highlighting that “Same-sex spouses of Soldiers now receiving benefits.” It also reiterated the controversial “gay leave” policy:
Soldiers assigned to duty stations within Read more
The LA Times, repeated in the Stars and Stripes, reports that some homosexuals in the US military have complained they were denied access to the leave to which they were entitled.
The special leave — subsequently renamed an “administrative absence” — for homosexuals to travel to areas they can obtain a marriage license was ordered by the DoD to “level the playing field” with heterosexuals who, presumably, were allowed to marry in the immediate locale of a military facility.
While the repeal of DADT was previously described as a “non-event,” the LA Times now (dramatically) describes the military as struggling with the changes: Read more
The Air Force Chaplaincy recently issued guidance (PDF) on how chaplains should handle a variety of situations regarding homosexuals and chaplains whose theologies do not allow them to support that lifestyle:
Wing Chaplains, talk with the chaplains under your supervision so that you are clear on what each chaplain’s endorser’s expectations are regarding ministry to same-gender couples. Honor those expectations and do not ask a chaplain to do anything contrary to his or her endorsement.
The Air Force appears to be the first service to explain how to handle marriage retreats where a homosexual couple may attend. Speaking to the Air Force “MarriageCare” retreats:
When you advertise a MC retreat, announce the chaplain who will be leading the event and the chaplain’s endorser. If the chaplain Read more
The Department of Defense announced it would grant homosexuals “spousal benefits” starting in September.
After a review of the department’s benefit policies following the Supreme Court’s ruling that Section Three of [DOMA] is unconstitutional…, the Defense Department will make spousal and family benefits available no later than Sept. 3, 2013, regardless of sexual orientation, as long as service member-sponsors provide a valid marriage certificate.
Because some homosexual troops might be in Read more