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2012: Year in review

A year after DADT repeal, gays in the military barely an issue

After the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law was formally repealed in 2011, critics predicted irreversible damage to the military, division and distrust among units and a mass exodus of chaplains and conservative servicemembers.

None of that happened.

When the one-year anniversary of the repeal passed in September, the military barely recognized the occasion. President Barack Obama released a short statement marking the date, praising the military’s professionalism in making the change. Military officials reported no significant disruption over the previous 12 months because of the new rule.

The issue was barely mentioned in the presidential election.

Gay rights advocates say more work needs to be done for full equality in the ranks.

The military still does not recognize same-sex marriages and has been slow to offer any benefits or family perks to same-sex couples, citing the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The same problems exist for gay veterans seeking support and benefits for their loved ones.

Officials from OutServe-SLDN, which represents thousands of gay active-duty troops and veterans, noted that they still have heard from some troops being harassed and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

No one has been threatened with dismissal due to their sexual orientation, as they were under “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

shanel@stripes.osd.mil

Twitter: @LeoShane

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