LGBT Issues – Despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), LGBT groups fear they will have issues to challenge for many years. New restrictions have been proposed by Kansas GOP Representative Tim Huelskamp in the name of codifying the rights of chaplains and those in uniform who might take issue with the new wave of equality.
Huelskamp wishes to assert that chaplains will not be forced to perform same-sex weddings if they oppose the union. He also wishes to exclude such unions from taking place on military facilities. He has stated that “military installations exist to carry out the national defense of our nation, not to facilitate a narrow social agenda.”
“No chaplain today is being required or pressured to marry anyone, straight or gay,” said Aubrey Sarvis, of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. She went on to say it is pure discrimination against LGBT-men and women in uniform.
Clearly, LGBT members of the Armed Services know they face opposition within and outside of the military. Therefore, it seems unrealistic that they would approach a chaplain who is not gay friendly to counsel them or perform a wedding.
Huelskamp’s proposed measure will probably find its way into the upcoming budget debates of Congress. It was the September debate which overturned DADT. In May, rights groups will hold a summit to broaden the acceptance of LGBT troops. Housing, health care, and other benefits for the partners of gay men and women in the military will be their focus.
While transgendered individuals who wish to serve openly will be what pro-LGBT military organization OutServe calls “the next DADT,” as they were not granted equality by the September 2011 repeal.
It seems as if U.S. troops still have a long road to fight for total equality.
Read more at Stars and Stripes.