DADT, the U.S. military’s former ban on openly gay servicemembers, died quietly following the repeal — that’s the verdict of Pentagon officials.
No doubt this is a blow to religious conservatives who predicted that allowing LGB troops to serve openly would lead to the military becoming a cesspool of sin.
Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said the repeal is “proceeding smoothly across the Department of Defense,” which officials there credit to the “enforcement of standards by our military leaders” and “servicemembers’ adherence to core values that include discipline and respect.”
Officials at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a pro-repeal group which offers free legal assistance to troops on discrimination issues, said they’ve heard only a few minor complaints from military members about the implementation of the repeal.
“We had thought this would be largely a non-event, and that has been the case,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the group. “I think the new regulations permitting gays and lesbians to serve are unambiguous, and the commands have all made it abundantly clear that this is the direction the force is going.”
Military leaders have seen pushback from conservative groups on some high-profile post-repeal stories — such as a picture of a gay Marine kissing his boyfriend which circulated earlier this month — but haven’t faced any lawsuits or mass resignations predicted by some opponents.
Of course, anti-LGBT rights groups still insist that this is because the Obama administration has gagged dissenters and so the problems that the repeal has supposedly created haven’t yet come to light.
Those groups opposed to the repeal continue to crow about the harms that it has caused without evidence to support their claims.
On the other hand, the positive effects of repeal are readily apparent.
The following video shows gay servicemembers talking about life before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and life after, what it has meant to them and how it has improved their lives and ability to serve. They also talk about how the Defense of Marriage Act continues to prevent them from serving with the same rights as their straight counterparts.
Image taken from video, no infringement intended.