Yasmeen Khan is a reporter covering education. You can find her stories on the air and on SchoolBook.org, WNYC’s education website.
On September 20, 2011, the Department of Defense put out a memo announcing the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. That repeal officially went into effect at 12:01 am Tuesday, marking the end of the 19-year-old policy.
President Obama signed legislation to end the policy back in December. The repeal took effect 60 days later, in order to give the military time to implement the repeal "in a manner that is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces," according to the D.O.D.
What Stays the Same?
But What Really Changes?
Basic life things will change, in the way that someone's personal life may occasionally overlap with a professional life, said Sue Fulton, communications director for Outserve, the association of actively-serving LGBT military personnel. For example, gay and lesbian service members will be able to bring a spouse to a work event and put family photos on their desks.
Fulton also points out that any future fight for LGBT rights within the military can now come from active-duty service members.