Don't Ask, Don't Tell — the US military's year ban on openly gay and lesbian service personnel — has officially been repealed, ushering in a new era for the country's armed forces. In a statement President Barack Obama welcomed the end of a policy that he said had forced gay and lesbian members to "lie about who they are". The repeal, which took effect from midnight on Tuesday, was celebrated as "momentous news" by gay lobby groups across the US, who have long fought against the policy, and among the military's estimated 65, serving gay and lesbian servicemen and women. Obama said he was confident that lifting the ban would enhance national security.
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What is it like to be a same-sex couple in the military? Is it any different than being married to someone of the opposite sex? No, not really. But there are some things that I've noticed during my time as an openly gay Marine Corps spouse and veteran. Below is my experience, and mine alone. Here are my experiences -- some bad, some good. Our first marriage enrichment retreat.
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In January of this year, Eric Fanning testified before the U. Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be the next secretary of the Army. The line of questioning from lawmakers was standard for hearings with military officials these days. How long until Iraqi troops regain control of Mosul? The Senate confirmed Fanning by unanimous voice vote on Tuesday, eight months after President Obama nominated him to replace John McHugh, who held the position for six years. When McHugh left in November, Fanning was named acting secretary. But Senator John McCain, the Republican from Arizona and chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued Fanning should not serve in the job while his confirmation was pending, and he resigned in January, just over a week before his confirmation hearing. Roberts said Tuesday he had received them from Robert Work, the deputy defense secretary. LGBT groups and their supporters praised the confirmation Tuesday. Fanning has never served in the military, but the Army secretary is a civilian position.
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. A few hours later, Lt. The evening before, there had been a report of a male-on-male sexual assault in our unit. In response, and apparently to demonstrate his competency in his assigned position, the noncommissioned officer had taken it upon himself to approach the person he considered inclined toward committing a similar offense in the future: me, the only openly gay soldier in my unit.