Originally posted 11 May 2012
For the alarmists in the military as well as hate groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association the news out of the Defense Department is not good. A new report shows that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is being successfully implemented in the military, and apparently there have been few incidents like the sergeant who berated his captain for dancing with her girlfriend.
According to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, repeal is going very well. He stated in a news conference today that “It’s not impacting on morale. It’s not impacting on unit cohesion. It is not impacting on readiness. . .Very frankly, my view is that the military has kind of moved beyond it. It’s become part and parcel of what they’ve accepted within the military.”
Army General Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that he has not seen “any negative effect on good order and discipline” since the repeal. According to the Defense Department story on this:
In response to a reporter’s question of what the military had been afraid of in allowing open service, the chairman said, “We didn’t know.”
“We were given a year to make this assessment, to educate ourselves, to collaborate, to build a sense of trust on this issue,” he added. “And given that time to do it, I think it worked out well.”
Panetta did speak a bit about the Defense of Marriage Act noting that DOMA “obviously does have some impact with regards to the benefits that are provided to same-sex . And so we continue to review the benefits. But those have to be provided consistent with DOMA. And until DOMA is either rejected by the courts or changed by the Congress, that’s the law we abide by.”
He did note that same-sex marriages are allowed in some states and stated “Where state law provides for that, then obviously that kind of marriage can take place. If the law … prohibits that, then it cannot take place on a military [installation].”
Defense.gov noted that:
Dempsey said military partner benefits fall into three categories: self-declared benefits, such as service members’ naming of life insurance beneficiaries; benefits governed by policy, which the secretary determines and which are under review; and those set by law, such as marriage.
“Those three bins, if you will, are each rather clear in how we approach it,” he added.
The number of bases effected by same-sex marriage are relatively small, and most are in New York. Vermont has no regular military installations, but does have a few National Guard bases.