Gay and lesbian airmen who disclose their sexual orientation will be dismissed even though the â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ law is under review by the Pentagon, according to the serviceâ€™s top civilian leader.
â€œWe are continuing to process those cases,â€ Donley replied when asked whether the service would wait to act until the Defense Department finishes its assessment, which should be in 45 days.
Donley declined to discuss specific cases such as the potential dismissal of Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, an F-16E Strike Eagle weapons systems officer who was outed by an acquaintance.
An estimated 66,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people are serving in the U.S. military, roughly 2 percent of all military personnel, according to a report released Tuesday by a gay rights policy center. The figures suggest a slight increase in the number of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the military, and they provide opponents of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy with fresh data as they lobby the Obama administration for its repeal.
Gay military rights advocate Lt. Dan Choi has been called back into drill duty, he told The Advocate in a phone interview Tuesday. Photographer Jeff Sheng, who recently turned his lens on active gay and lesbian service members for a book about "don't ask, don't tell," originally reported the news on Bilerico.com. Choi was scheduled to appear at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change conference over the weekend but instead rejoined his unit. Choi said his commander called him personally, asking him to return.
Choi told The Advocate that he felt welcomed back by his fellow guardsmen in his infantry unit.
"Initially, I sensed a feeling of territorialism," he said. "They were like, 'That's right, he came back to us!'"
This story was written by Michelle Garcia. Read full story at The Advocate.com
Research carried out by the Palm Center at the University of California in Santa Barbara revealed women made up a mere 15 percent of all active-duty and reserve members of the military but accounted for more than 33 percent of the 619 members of the military discharged from service in 2008 because of their sexual orientation.
(AFP) â€“ 4 days ago
OTTAWA â€” A lesbian who deserted the US military has requested asylum in Canada, claiming she faced harassment and death threats from fellow soldiers over her sexual orientation, media said Wednesday.
Private Bethany Smith, 21, claimed she had asked the US military for a discharge after being outed by another soldier who spotted her walking hand in hand with a woman at a mall.
But she was denied because her superiors wanted to send her to Afghanistan, she told Canadian media.