Senate repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Senate repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy

by Michele Catahay

Guam - The Senate has voted to repeal the U.S. Armed Forces' "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. If signed by President Barack Obama, gays and lesbians can openly serve in the military. For years, the gay and lesbian populations in the United States military have been subjected to the policy, which had forced them to be silent about their sexual orientation.

But today, the Senate voted to repeal it by a 65-31 margin. The policy became law in 1993, which had stopped the practice of asking service members to state if they are gay or not, but still called for the dismissal of openly gay service members. With news that gays and lesbians may soon openly serve in the military, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization president Tim Dela Cruz says this is great news. He told KUAM News, "We are very pleased with the Senate's passage of this discriminatory policy; this is a step in our nation's continuing movement toward equality and fairness for all people. We applaud the Senate for doing what is right."

Local veteran Jim Clements Says it should be okay for gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as these individuals don't display inappropriate behavior. He says if women can fight alongside men during combat, he says individuals with a different sexual orientation should be allowed to, as well.

He said, "When you're in a foxhole or in a helicopter, there's no way that his orientation is going to matter. Fighting for his country and dying for his country. I don't see any difference between that and fighting for women. Women had to fight a long time to be equal in military. Now it's time that gays be equal in the military."

Clements added, "Do you remember when the first woman graduated from the Military Academy? That was a big deal. When the first woman ran for office? That was a big deal. The first black president? That's a big deal. At first it's going to be a big deal, and after a while, it's going to be an everyday occurrence."

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal was recently removed from the National Defense Authorization Act to allow the defense bill to gain movement in the Senate. While the senate has repealed this policy, it now heads to the President for his signature.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Students no longer required to use mesh bags

    Students no longer required to use mesh bags

    More than decade later and it's back to the backpacks for the island's public school children. They'll be trending at local middle and high schools next school year, after DOE announces students won't have to wear mesh. It was back in 2005, after a SimonMore >>
    More than decade later and it's back to the backpacks for the island's public school children. They'll be trending at local middle and high schools next school year, after DOE announces students won't have to wear mesh. It was back in 2005, after a Simon More >>
  • Agat, Port Authority take top honors in float/entry competition

    Agat, Port Authority take top honors in float/entry competition

    ?Congrats to the winners of today's Liberation Day Parade float/entry competition! Agat won for Best Village Float, the Port Authority won for Best GovGuam Float, and the Barrigada Municipal Planning Council won for Best non-government/civic/community/nonMore >>
    ?Congrats to the winners of today's Liberation Day Parade float/entry competition! Agat won for Best Village Float, the Port Authority won for Best GovGuam Float, and the Barrigada Municipal Planning Council won for Best non-government/civic/community/nonMore >>
  • Stream the Liberation Day Parade LIVE

    Stream the Liberation Day Parade LIVE

    Happy Liberation Day, Guam! KUAM and our friends at PBS Guam are bringing you coverage of today's parade LIVE from Hagatna. Experience all the amazing village pride, floats, marching units, cultural presentations, community groups and much more on any dev

    More >>

    Happy Liberation Day, Guam! KUAM and our friends at PBS Guam are bringing you coverage of today's parade LIVE from Hagatna. Experience all the amazing village pride, floats, marching units, cultural presentations, community groups and much more on any dev

    More >>
Powered by Frankly