Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Pima, Jun 26, 2013.
Curious of the impact on the military?
Well, according to the memo DoD released several months ago, the DoD will provide all benefits to same-sex married couples as to opposite-sex couples should DOMA be repealed (of course they would have no choice, but they began preparing early on this). For military same-sex couples this means they will receive the same treatment now for benefits.
It is a good day.
^Agreed. The gov't should not be in the business of promoting discrimination.
Except for affirmative action.
The government discriminates all the time for a whole host of reasons which never receives nary a complaint. It's only the issue on which they choose to discriminate that people disagree with.
I suppose one can read the law as saying 'one can discriminate as they see fit, except for the 7 or 8 reason detailed.' (race, color, creed, national origin, etc)
Slightly off topic, but since the end of Don't ask-Don't tell, I have read almost nothing regards 'fall-out' over gays serving openly. Am I missing something, or has there been very little fall out?
There was no net negative and in many units, unit cohesiveness improved due to greater trust and openness.
http://www.palmcenter.org/files/One Year Out_0.pdf
DADT and repeal of it were more about politics than anything else. From the study,
I think better study would have been how many male homosexual soldiers openly disclosed their sexuality in infantry units since the repeal of DADT.
My point is one of language. When the word "discrimination" is used as a stand alone, nefarious example of evil it does diservice to the language. Every decision is "discrimination". Everytime you choose a big mac over mcnuggets you are "discriminating"; every time you are putting on your left shoe first instead of your right, you are "discriminating". I'll admit it is a pet peeve of mine but it is not that one is discriminating that is itself wrong, but the WHY one is discriminating.
As for fallout from DADT, I'm not in anymore so I can't say for sure but I would be surprised if there was much at all. I'm sure there is some but it is more about the individual and not the institution. When I was my unit's CO during DADT we had one guy that everyone was 100% sure was gay and no one cared. He knew everyone thought he was gay and he didn't care and neither did he feel the need to specify one way or the other. He referred to himself once as "the queer" to me but I couldn't be sure if he was identifiying himself or referring to what he knew everyone thought.
+1 The government discriminates all it wants, as long as it deems it acceptable.
Such a study would not quite give a good answer. The choice to be open is dependent upon: upbringing and personal bias for personal acceptance, environment and trust in peers/leadership/subordinates to be fair or accepting/tolerating, as well as a variety of personal factors and outside influence. So a gay man coming out in an infantry unit depends a lot on their own person, their view of their unit, and the actions of their leadership. I know people who are out in their infantry or similar combat arms units and some who are not. Those that are out are almost all happy to be so and comfortable in their units. In general, the knowledge of an openly gay/lesbian person in a unit has a pretty dramatic change on culture and behavior. Gay slurs and euphemisms go away pretty quick and someone using them becomes more likely to hear crickets in the room than elicit laughter. From the anecdotes I can give, 95% of the stories are positive for those who chose to be open.
A lot of people don't give military members enough credit. People are more concerned about watching out for one another and being supportive of each other, especially if you consider the demographics (young people are much more supportive of LGB persons than older).
I think we are looking at the same thing with a different way. My opinion, the Palmcenter study doesn't prove or disapprove that the repeal of DADT had no adverse impact on the military readiness. Personally, I believe that the repeal of DADT had very little adverse impact on the military readiness. My beliefs are do not equate to a proof.
As you stated a "choice to be open is dependent upon" many factors. However, if a fear of being dicriminated based sexual orientation prevents someone from being open about their sexual orientation, how do we accurate measure the impact of DADT on infantry units.
My beliefs are the same - no negative impact.
I don't think it matters that we need to measure the impact on an infantry unit. Replace gay with any other characteristic such as race or religion - we don't track it outside of unit climate surveys that are themselves questionable for referencing.
No one seems to be able to find a discernible difference - in negative ways - that the repeal has had on military readiness. But really, it doesn't matter. It was the right thing to do and it was done. And we move on.
I have more of a "Nut's and Bolt's" question.
SECDEF said today that the military will begin to put in place all the benefits for same sex married couples.
Currently there are 12 states, mine included, that have legalized Same Sex marriage, as soon as California reinstates it will be 13.
Will military same sex married couples have to be married in one of these states to receive military benefits. How will this work for National Guard untits that are tied to a state that does not have leagalized same sex marriage.
It seems like as of now the indiviual states can still decide not to allow same sex marriage.
Just wondering how it will all work and what kind of hoops these folks will have to jump through.
On a side note regarding the end of DADT. My son's Battalion has two openly gay cadets, my son has said there have been no issues whatsoever, it's a small battalion compared to many.
Several states and districts do not impose residency requirements (such as MA, NY, and DC) so couples can get married even if their residency (either permanent or station) does not allow it. However, I think a lot of the states require the presence of the couple and a witness in order to apply for the marriage certificate (NY, for example). Therefore, DoD might choose to maintain the domestic partner benefits due to the higher complications for same-sex partners to attain a marriage if they are cash-strapped and not in a locality allowing it. I think DoD will clarify their position on the subject in the next couple weeks. Implementation, according to the news releases today, will be in 6-12 weeks.
For Guard, it probably won't be any different than AD. If you attain a marriage license (if it has to be from a different state), it will be recognized federally and all the federal (to include dependent) benefits will be bestowed. But any state or local laws will still apply for state and local benefits.
Since Hollingsworth (Prop 8) was dismissed on standing, it only applies to CA. No other state is required to recognize unless SCOTUS takes up Section 2 of DOMA and/or Congress takes action to repeal it.
Things have come a long way. My long-time bf is a fighter pilot - he is open in his squadron and I've attended many events with him. Never had any problems, never heard a single slur, and got to know his leadership and their spouses pretty well. The greatest factors for him in his squadron was a set of leaders who were explicit after repeal about not tolerating bigotry and the seriousness of our own relationship. His CC and DO have expressed their support for us and for the future in joint assignment selection. The other guys and wives ask us about marriage plans, how is the DoD treating us, our plans for kids, etc. I'm part of a large CGO group for LGB military members, so I get to hear the experiences of many people across the services and within different career fields.
From what we've followed in the last year, it sounds like there will be equal treatment as far as all DoD policies go and the same for bennies. Can't change the states at this time.
SCOTUS only knocked down 1 part of the DOMA. The part dealing with states not being required to recognize each other's same-sex marraiges was not struck down with this ruling (as it wasn't an issue in the specific case before the court).
So does going to NY or MA to get hitched but having legal residency in AL where that marriage is not recognized get you federal benefits? Or does same sex couple service member have to change their residency to gain federal benefits.
It seems likely that that second half of DOMA will get knocked down. Right now most states will not allow first cousins to marry but a few do. All states recognize first cousin marriages, (not that non-recognition is written into any state statutes) even if they don't allow them, primarily because it would be difficult if not impossible to figure out the relationship from most marriage licenses because it isn't listed. I'm going to assume here that states with same sex marriages do not (or at least soon will not) ask for gender of the 2 parties participating, so I think in time the enforcement will become similar to first cousin issues. However, someone is going to make a federal case out of this. And I predict that the second half of DOMA will go down at that time.
In the meantime, I wouldn't be surprised if same sex couples suddenly had residency changes to ensure their federal benefits. Perhaps Washington will soon have many new military residents?
My understanding from reading and talking with Outserve-SLDN people is that your residency should not matter for federal benefits. When you file your federal returns, your state of residency really doesn't matter. So people who get married in another state and either live in or move to a state without recognition should not see their federal benefits go away. Obviously, state benefits are another thing. For example - my residency is TX. However, TX (like many others) has no income tax. Therefore, while I can't file a joint return, I also don't have a financial penalty. In states like TX, the main issues deal with legal protections afforded to spouses and guardianship issues. These can be dealt with largely with a legal will and contract, but it is onerous compared to the protections automatically afforded to recognized marriages. Expect any federal military benefits (SGLI, etc.) to be treated equally for all marriages.
I have several friends who got married in Iowa, WA, NY, MA, and DC who were not residents of those states.
Some news sites have are saying that Kennedy's language in the majority opinion opens up lawsuits for section 2 allowing for states not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. So it is entirely possible that it will be next - however, given how long it has taken for the SCOTUS to address Section 3, we may be waiting awhile to get to Section 2. On the bright side, good progress is being made at the state level and we may see another dozen on board within 1-2 years. There will always be certain areas/states that refuse to follow suit and I'm sure by the end of the decade they will be seeing SCOTUS play its hand again.
I can see state tax issues and family issues being the two biggest challenges going forward. I agree that the federal government will do what it wants now in regards to federal benefits, but things that have a state component will still be the responsibility of the service member to get right.
For example, IIRC in Wisconsin, you file your state taxes based upon your federal return filing. Wisconsin has a same-sex marriage ban and doesn't recognize other state's same-sex marriages.
So does that mean same-sex couples from Wisconsin are not allowed to file joint federal returns because it doesn't recognize that marriage? I can see this being a place where the other part of DOMA is challenged. In the meantime, a service member in a same-sex marriage may not want to poke the state tax bear, as that may have criminal implications that affect their ability to serve.
And I don't even know where to start with examples dealing with same-sex couples and child issues with military members. Just because the Army recognizes the same-sex spouse as a parent, does it mean that the state has to? Do you need legal paperwork in a state like Wisconsin when one parent deploys to get medical attention at a state regulated facility paid for by federal benefits?
I'm sure there will be another trip to the SCOTUS. There are too many people with too much money on both sides for that not to happen.
I have a related question to "states not to recognize same-sex marraige from other states."
States not recognizing a marriage from other states, different states have differenet minimum age for marriage and some states allow very young people to get married with parental consent. Since the Supreme court decided that the marriage is a right, where do we draw the line on age?
Separate names with a comma.