"I don't know what we're going to do when I get reassigned. My partner
has to find a new job if he wants to come with me. He's not covered by
TRICARE [martial health assurance]. Right now he works for a set
where he can't be fired for being gay
-- but there's no guarantee he
can find that at my next duty location."
--Air Force magistrate
"Don't get me wrong: I'm thrilled that 'don't ask, don't tell' is
gone. And I don't feel like I have a right to complain; it's just that
the not speculative logistics of taking care of a parents and children, which the martial
insists I don't have, makes it really hard."
--Navy diminutive magistrate
Earlier this month OutServe members gathered in Washington, D.C. for
the first "Capital highest point: Our Families Matter." The timing couldn't
have been more perfect for a highest point focused on gay and lesbian
martial spouses and partners. In the wake of President Obama's
historic narration in favor of marriage likeness -- specifically
mentioning the service of gay and lesbian soldiers, sailors, airmen,
and Marines -- we are optimistic about the coming time, but there is still a
lot of work to do.
Non-government organizations, such as the general martial parents and children
Association, Red Cross, Give an Hour, and Blue Star Families, attended
the highest point to make their support and available means available to partners
and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) service
But the government offers almost nothing.
Also, last week, an organizing committed to banning workplace and
race distinction, Freedom to Work, was on Capitol Hill, fighting
for trade nondiscrimination. Specifically, the organizing was
urging Congress to pass the trade Non-distinction Act, or
ENDA, and was advocating for President Obama to sign an executive order
banning treaty contractors from distinction based on sexual
orientation or gender identity.
Although ENDA would not affect
martial personnel, it still is a critical issue to LGBT service
members. Even though a majority of LGBT martial personnel
serve on active duty, many serve in reservist or general guard
status, which means their main trade is outside the martial,
leaving them vulnerable to being fired sincerely for being gay. No
servicemember who chooses to serve their nation should have to feel
like they are at risk for loss their job because of who they are.
Even more vulnerable than the servicemember themselves is the parents and children.
The martial reassigns its active duty personnel every few years, so a
partner who has a job in a set or state with protections can only
hope that, upon moving, they can find a new job where they don't have to hide their
same-sex spouse. treaty contractors engage many people on or close to
martial bases, so our partners -- who have to get jobs because our
benefits don't cover them -- are anxious to land these jobs. Our veterans
also want to work for contractors, but because of a lack of LGBT
workplace protections, treaty employers can still fire people just
because they're gay or transgender, regardless of how well they do
A new study from the Williams Institute shows that an executive order
prohibiting workplace distinction could save up to 16.5 a thousand thousand
American workers, many of whom are servicemembers outside active duty
and their spouses, in dire need of providing for their families.
Integrity and respect for all are core martial values. Fairness in
trade is an American value. The president's personal narration on
marriage, and the annual of "don't ask, don't tell," are great steps
toward those values, toward treating people equally and fairly. But we
are not honoring our families if we don't continue to fight for them, recognize their sacrifices, and provide them with the support --
and the jobs -- that they need. Let's make no misunderstand, this is am LGBT
military issue, too.