From the Board
By Capt. Matthew Phelps, USMC
As members of the military know, a single year will often be packed with changes that most civilians can’t begin to imagine. Deployments, transfers, duty assignments, and even colleagues change for us with a regularity that would make the average person’s head spin. We are conditioned to accept change as a constant, and although we can become accustomed to it, our families often bear the burden of keeping the pace.
If we are to honor the service of all our military families and maintain the finest fighting force this world has ever known, DOMA must be repealed.
Navy Releases Major Updates to Service Member HIV Policy
By Katie Miller
This past year, the United States hosted the 19th International AIDS Conference for the first time since 1990. Although the United States has established itself as a global leader in HIV/AIDS research and funding, it wasn’t until 2010 that the government lifted the entry ban on HIV positive people wishing to travel to America, thereby making the International AIDS Conference possible in this country. Before then, the United States stood out as one of only a handful of countries worldwide that barred people living with HIV from visiting or immigrating to the country.
By Sue Fulton, OutServe Board
It was a low-key ceremony, befitting the officer Maj. Gen. Jack Stultz, former chief of the Army Reserve, referred to as a “quiet professional.”
At the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, at Arlington National Cemetery, on what General Stultz and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Robert Pleczkowski called “a great
This year, our country celebrated LGBT Pride season for the first time since the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal was implemented. It was the first chance for service members to march in uniform at a Pride parade, yet overwhelmingly, military personnel did not seize the opportunity, with the exception of San Diego.
Calls Panetta message “historic,” a “tribute to military values”
WASHINGTON, June 15 – Today, OutServe, the association of actively-serving LGBT U.S. military personnel and one of the largest LGBT employee resource groups in the world, praised Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s LGBT Pride message. The Secretary issued a video message to all Defense Department employees commemorating June as LGBT Pride Month, and recognizing gay and lesbian military members as well as LGBT civilian employees of the Pentagon.
By Sue Fulton
Here’s how President Obama ended his speech at a fundraiser earlier this week:
“I go back to my birthplace once a year. And we usually stay near a Marine base. And it’s depressing working out at the gym at the Marine base because the Marines all have 2 percent body fat and can bench 500 pounds — (laughter) — and they make you feel bad.
“This past winter, while I’d be working out, folks would come up to me and they would say, you know what, Mr. President, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” because I’d been serving as a Marine for five years, for 10 years. There have been times where I haven’t been able to have my partner see me off as I’m being deployed. And for you to acknowledge me not just as a soldier but somebody who is a full citizen and equal participant in the life of this country really makes a difference.
By Sue Fulton
The U.S. Congress has a 9% approval rating. Whatever your political leanings, you’re probably disgusted with how our elected representatives are working (or NOT working, as the case may be). Meanwhile, although the country has been at war for over a decade, the number of veterans in Congress has sunk to the lowest level since World War II. A cohort of energetic, courageous, responsible individuals, who have proven their dedication to service and country, are missing in action from the nation’s most important deliberative body.
Now that some have been given official permission to wear their uniform in Pride Parades, here is the latest SLDN and OutServe guidance, as of July 20, 2012, for uniform wear in relation to the San Diego Pride Parade:
Compiled by OutServe’s Actively Serving Leadership Council
As we move into pride season, many have questions about wearing uniforms or participating in color guards at local events. OutServe also gets frequent questions about wear of uniforms at events like the Human Right’s Campaign or Servicemembers Legal Defense Network annual dinners.
The DoD political activities and ethics rules are complicated, and there is no easy answer. Each event is different, and the rules change depending on what role you play. The OutServe Actively Serving Leadership team has been working to develop some recommendations and guidelines to help our members determine what is appropriate.
by Sue Fulton
OutServe Communications Director
- A lesbian den mother gets kicked out of the Boy Scouts because, the Boy Scouts say, “Our mission does not include teaching about sex and sexual orientation.” (CNN Report)
- Presidential candidate Rick Santorum would reinstate DADT because “sexual activity has no place in the military.” (Tom Christopher reports)
- Elaine Donnelly of CMR links an increase in sexual assault to repeal of DADT. (The New Civil Rights Movement reports) I would also point out that rape is not about sex, it’s about violence, but that’s another discussion.
And don’t even get me started on the rantings of people like Peter LaBarbera and Tony Perkins.
Those who oppose full civil rights for LGBT people are fixated on one thing: that homosexuality is all about sex.
Well, news flash: that’s twisted. At our core, being gay is not about sex, it’s about family.