On Sept. 20, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning gays from serving openly will be stripped from the military’s rulebook. For gay Marines, official repeal will be a historic day, comparable to the moment 63 years ago when President Truman ordered the services to end racial segregation.
For straight Marines, this will bring changes, too. “That’s gay” — a pervasive phrase used throughout the Corps to express dislike for almost anything — will no longer be tolerated. Equal treatment will be a must. And yes, some gay Marines will bring dates to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball in November.
With the end of “don’t ask” just days away, this week’s cover story includes the stories of several gay Marines who wanted to share their views on repeal and the future of the Marine Corps. Gay Marines interviewed for the story include:
— A corporal in the infantry, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
— A major at Quantico, Va.
— An infantry officer and company commander at Pendleton.
— A former enlisted Marine now enrolled at the Naval Academy
— And a field grade officer in California
Hear what they have to say about the end of “don’t ask,” don’t tell” in this week’s edition of Marine Corps Times, on newsstands now. Or, subscribe here.