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Marines prepare for repeal of 'don't ask/don't tell'


Marines at bases in the U.S. and foreign locations are preparing for the repeal of the "don't ask/don't tell" policy that has required gay men and lesbians to remain silent about their sexual orientation.

Once all the services report that their troops have been briefed on the changes, President Obama is to begin a 60-day countdown. The new law should be in effect by late fall -- and gays and lesbians can serve openly.

The Marines have decided on a low-key approach to the change.

"You have a lot more in common with each other than to allow something small like this to get in the way," Col. Rudolph Janiczek, commander of the headquarters battalion of the 1st Marine Division, told Marines at Camp Pendleton last week.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Members of the 1st Marine Logistics Group receive briefing on the repeal of "don't ask/don't tell." Credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Comments () | Archives (10)

I served from 2000 to 2005. Machine gunner, 0331, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. Operation Iraqi Freedom March, 2003 and OIF II for the Battle of Fallujah, November 2004. Now, on one end of the spectrum I have no problem with an openly gay marine serving his country. However, on the other end of the spectrum I know how many marines are when it comes to that subject matter and they're not so compliant. I believe it's going to very difficult for the first few openly gay marines (men) to be accepted. This is coming from a non-bias perspective. The subject came up once or twice during my time serving the country about "what if" the military allowed gays (specifically men since most of us didn't care about women being gay... as a matter of fact we all kind of liked it anyway as far as two chicks hooking up) and about half of the troops said that they would be very opposed to it and if they found out someone was gay, retaliation or non association with that individual was their response. Luckily, no one asked me on my stance towards the subject matter because I'm pretty much whatever about it. I don't know how much times have changed since I left in 2005 but that's pretty much how many marines felt about it back then. Good luck for those in the future.

The USMC has led the way in every other advance in civil rights in the US military. That's their history - regardless of comments made in recent months by individuals in leadership.

I expect they will live up to their standards as well or better than the other services.

The Marines Corps has a strong ethos of a Marine being a Marine, period. They are going manage this just fine and continue the mission...

Commander Amos deserves credit for his efficient handling of the repeal process. FYI - http://OutMilitary.com is providing a supportive place for gay servicemen and women to friend, share and network in a post DADT era.

DMAC wrote — incorrectly — that many Marines are “not so compliant,” and that 6 years ago, “about half the troops said they would be very opposed.”

That’s no longer true.

■ 159,318 military personnel wrote in last year’s DoD survey that they and their spouses want DADT repealed. Over 97% of those respondents were heterosexual.

■ 92% said their actual experience working with gay/lesbian co-workers in their unit was “very good,” “good,” or “neither good nor poor.”

■ 92% of today’s average (20-year-old) recruits, as soon as they get to actually serve alongside fellow soldiers who are gay, say they are perfectly OK with it.

■ Although one year ago 23% of Marines threatened to resign, today that number is zero. Commandant General James Amos addressed 12,000 Marines in late December, 2010, and on 18 February 2011 he reported that, “everyone said, ‘Sir, we got it. We’re going to do this thing.’”

■ Across all branches, recruiting and retention goals are being met, with zero resignations.

■ All of the DADT repeal classes held worldwide so far have completed successfully.

Can we please be honest for just a moment here? Absolutely NOHTING was repealed! In fact, a brand new law was implemented by Congress, and signed by President Obama, COMPLETELY removing DADT, as well as the ORIGINAL law prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving.

I am so sick and tired of politicians calling something, which it is not, assuming that the public is so stupid, that they will be better able to handle it. Calling it a "repeal" gives it the assumption that we simply rolled back an errant policy.

DADT WAS the compromise, enacted by Pres. Clinton. If DADT were repealed, then the ORIGINAL law would be active, and gays and lesbians would no longer be allowed to serve.

DMAC - they will just have to grow up and get used to the idea. How many of them would rather have the gays quit and leave the service, and so many in combat situations would discover that there were'nt enough to cover everyone's "six"

As well as how are we treating people who are wiwlling to die for a country where about half the people despise them.

DADt is sick, the marines will follow orders, Those that don't should get a less then honorable discharge. It wont take long to get that message out.

And of course the big deal about DADt ending is it is hard to hate, demonize and bully people you know and respect. Regardless of sexuality.

I have many gay friends from my work in the civilian gay community. Go to any of the gay bars in baltimore and you find out two surprising facts :

1. so many of the patrons - perhaps as many as 25% are str8 people, out with their gay friends. Like myself

2. so many of the chicks - str8 and gay - love gay guys. We are almost there.

And DADT ending is just another nail in the coffin of the virtual segregation of gay people by the haters of right win g churches .

As America catches up with virtually every original NATO country -about 26, in ignoring and allowing openly gay people to serve and protect their nation.

the only exception being Islamic turkey. Says a lot, doesnt it.

And btw what about all the health clubs - our suburban health club has about 30% gay memebers, most of whom dont hide who they are.

And we could care less, locker room or not.

Sue wrote: Although one year ago 23% of Marines threatened to resign, today that number is zero. Commandant General James Amos addressed 12,000 Marines in late December, 2010, and on 18 February 2011 he reported that, “everyone said, ‘Sir, we got it. We’re going to do this thing.’” end quote

thats right. they know their lives depend all on the other marines lives. Once the shock of the "coming out of gay marines" subsides , no one will give a damn.

the few who do should not be allowed to disgrace a marine uniform.

CLARIFICATION to yesterday's post (above): Last year’s DoD survey collected 159,318 responses, consisting of 115,052 active/reserve personnel + 44,266 spouses, solid majorities of whom confirmed the ability of the military to repeal DADT. Solid majorities also reported that the impact upon military effectiveness (recruiting, retention, readiness, unit effectiveness, unit cohesion) would be isolated, short-term, and low-risk.

The survey was one of the largest in U.S. military history, and the margin of error was only ±1%. For all details, read: “DADT Repeal Comprehensive Review & Findings” (DoD, 30 November 2010, 431 pages).

My heart is warmed by the responses below. The times and society are indeed changing, and for the better. Actually, this story is really about nothing new as far as stats are concerned. The rightwing blathers constantly about all the negatives, never the facts or positives.
To all GLBT service members, a hearty welcome to the full service of your friends, who were really always there for you. For the naysayers and neer'do wells... well, tough poop!
Blessings and peace,
Dakotahgeo, M>Div. Pastor/Chaplain


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