Throughout its history, the U. Military has had an inconsistent policy when it comes to gay people in the military. However, when personnel needs increased due to combat, the military developed a habit of relaxing its screening criteria. Many gay people were admitted and served honorably during these conflicts. This did not eliminate discrimination, however, and these periods were relatively short-lived.
LGBT service members are allowed to be out and proud, but a fear of repercussions persists
Homosexuals in the Military: Policies and Practices of Foreign Countries
The study, published by the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy , found that 59 percent of respondents did not feel comfortable being out at work, either because of career repercussions or because of the burden of being a token responsible for educating their peers. Pentagon officials did not immediate respond to a request for comment about the study. And despite a Monday Supreme Court decision which ruled that workplace discrimination against LBGT employees violates the Civil Rights Act of , that decision does not include service members. The study came out of interviews with 37 service members during , at a time when Obama administration policy allowed transgender troops to take hormones as part of a transition, despite not allowing them to formalize a transition in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. For more newsletters click here. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief - a daily roundup of military and defense news stories from around the globe. By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief.
Sexual orientation in the United States military
The United States military formerly excluded gay men , bisexuals , and lesbians from service. In , the United States Congress passed, and President William "Bill" Clinton signed a law instituting the policy commonly referred to as " Don't ask, don't tell " DADT which allowed gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve as long as they did not reveal their sexual orientation. Although there were isolated instances in which service personnel were met with limited success through lawsuits, efforts to end the ban on openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual people serving either legislatively, or through the courts initially proved unsuccessful. In , two federal courts ruled the ban on openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual service personnel unconstitutional, and on July 6, , a federal appeals court suspended the DADT policy. In December , the House and Senate passed and President Barack Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of , and under its provisions, restrictions on service by gay, lesbian, and bisexual personnel ended as of September 20,
The sergeant and I stared at each other for a moment as the office door shut. Only seconds earlier, we both stood silent, hands clasped behind our backs respectfully, as a noncommissioned officer stood inches from my face and threatened to end my career. As we left the office, the sergeant searched for something consolatory to say. His words, and any comfort I might have taken from them, fell flat. I sat, staring at my computer screen, trying to recall what task I had been working on.