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Gay Military Excluded From Equal Rights

By Charlotte Robinson, January 31, 2012
With the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” gay & lesbian military are still being denied equal rights, benefits & protections that their heterosexual peers receive. As we approach the first anniversary of the release of Department of Defense policy guidance on the repeal of DADT, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis has called upon Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to take immediate action on equal recognition, benefits & family support for gay & lesbian service members stating, "The year that has passed since the Department of Defense said it would continue to study this issue should have been more than enough time for it to come to agree with the Comprehensive Review Working Group's view that fairness & equality should be the order of the day when it comes to allowing service members to designate a person of their choosing for existing military benefits wherever there is not a restriction imposed by the Defense of Marriage Act. To date, they have not done that & for service members affected by this, every day they delay matters to them & their families."
Now a program was announced last week which provides that if a service member is the victim of a sexual assault, counseling services should be made available to members of his or her family. It excludes same-gender spouses from those eligible for the counseling.
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1 comment:

Aubrey Sarvis said...

The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ while an historic victory for equality, has created two classes of service members in the U.S. military – those who receive all available benefits and support and those who don’t. Secretary Panetta has the clear authority, within the confines of the law, to make same-gender married couples and their families eligible to take part in some of the programs that are available to all other service members, even while the Defense of Marriage Act is still on the books. These include making married gay and lesbian couples eligible for joint duty assignments, family center programs, and military family housing.

Aubrey Sarvis Executive Director Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

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