March 24th, 2010
01:01 PM ET

Source: Pentagon set to ease policy on gays in the military

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to announce changes Thursday easing the Defense Department's controversial "don't ask don't tell" policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving openly in the military, a senior Defense Department official has confirmed to CNN.

The official said one of the changes will be that outings by third parties may no longer be automatic grounds for initiating separation proceedings, especially if it is proven that the person making the allegation has a grudge against the military member.

Gates' announcement will focus on regulatory changes that can be made at the Pentagon without the approval of Congress, which has been debating whether to change the law. President Barack Obama has asked for a repeal of the controversial measure.

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian
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  1. Brad

    Henry. So only the straight men and women are allowed to be happy? Gays do not have the right to be happy? Why does it make a straight man unhappy to see a fellow soldier (who's gay) happy? I understand the concerns of a straight man or woman regarding personal privacy/insecurity, which in many cases stems from ignorance/fear of the unknown. But when did it become normal for someone to be happy only because someone else remains unhappy? Soldiers are brothers and sisters, and support each other through thick and thin. On principle, how is this issue any different? If everyone is happy, then morale increases, and unit performance/output increases. Just a thought.

    March 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill Sterling

    Good to see all the positive posts. Interesting post from Douglas Vogt among others. Can't wait until they repeal the DADT. Think about the gay and lesbians over seas deployed and have no support for themselves or their families. That is rough. I deployed and left my boyfriend back home with no support from the base. Straight couples get to utilize spouse support groups and Family Readiness support groups. During a war is exactly the time we need to make all the benefits available for our brothers and sisters serving in harms way.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    As a former (straight) member of the Coast Guard–stationed out of New London, Connecticut during the 1990s–I could not have cared less about the private sexual preferences of my fellow cadets, seamen, and officers. The misguided neanderthals who still oppose open integration need to get over it and to join the real, modern world. The date today is 2010, not 1950! It is the quality of a person's professional training and work service that matters–not their personal life style and not whether they lick pussy or suck cock. Americans need to join Europeans and Latin Americans in the simple realization that gay people have always existed and exist everywhere today. Gay men and women are part of human nature and human societies past and present.
    The psuedo-arguments being used again repealing DADT are identical to the arguments that were used in the past against integrating women and integrating blacks into the American military. If a person can't acknolwedge the diverse reality of human society, then they need to seek therapy. Repealing the Pentagon law will be a total anti-climax, meaning it will make no difference at all in how the armed services actually operate. My so-called masculinity was never threatened by having a lesbian woman or gay man in my office, on board my ship, or in our helicopters.
    My father (who served in Burma the last six months of World War II in 1945), my wife, and my brother and two sisters agree with me on this subject. In New London, we always assumed–and joked about it–that half the women in the Coast Guard were "muff divers." I had at least two good women friends who mostly likely were lesbian.
    By the way, in my high school in Westbrook, Connecticut, the very best teacher I had, in the field of chemistry, happened to be a gay woman. She turned me on to the sciences. Likewise, I have read that two of the male flight attendants who stood up and overpowered the terrorists on 9/11 in the plane over Pennsylvania happened to be gay. And, as a history buff, let me point out that some of the greatest military leaders of ancient civiliation–Alexander the Great, several of the Roman Cesear emperors, etc.–had both female and male partners in their lives. Who cares. Their historic actions and careers reflect courage and ability. I left the Guard in 2003 and now teach sideral astronomy at a community college in Rhode island. I can assure you that the young generation of Americans who are my students are much more comfortable with equality among straights, gays, bis, and inbetweens. It is refreshing to see that they have not been raised with the old prejudices.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
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