Another reason DADT should be repealed

She followed the rules and stayed in the closet – and someone else outed her to the military, so now she’s been discharged under DADT.

Jene Newsome played by the rules as an Air Force sergeant: She never told anyone in the military she was a lesbian. The 28-year-old’s honorable discharge under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy came only after police officers in Rapid City, S.D., saw an Iowa marriage certificate in her home and told the nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base.


Newsome was at work at the base at the time and refused to immediately come home and assist the officers in finding her partner, whom she married in Iowa — where gay marriage is legal — in October.

Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome’s home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said in a statement sent to the AP. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said.


In the complaint filed last month with the department, ACLU South Dakota said police had no legal reason to tell the military Newsome was a lesbian and that officers knew if they did, it would jeopardize her military career.

Newsome, who was discharged in January, said she didn’t know where the marriage license was in her home when police came to her house on Nov. 20 and claims the officers were retaliating because she wouldn’t help with her partner’s arrest.

This was blatant retaliation, despite the police department’s claims that once they knew they “had” to tell the military. They knew that giving that information to her superiors would destroy her career – it’s not like DADT is a secret. Telling the military she’s a lesbian could do nothing to help them bring in her partner, the only possible goal was to hurt Newsome for not cooperating.

This is another example of why DADT is just wrong. You can follow the rules, staying deep in the closet and keeping any relationships a deep, dark secret, but if someone else outs you to the military, your career is destroyed anyway.

We already make gays and lesbians hide who they are for their entire military careers. Should we also make them take a vow of celibacy and eschew all romantic relationships for as long as they serve? I might support that – but only if we require heterosexuals to do the same thing.

Update: A little research prompted by a debate going on over at A Conservative Shemale has revealed that we actually do effectively make gays and lesbians take a vow of celibacy when they join the military. From the actual DADT law (10 U.S.C. 654)

(b) Policy.— A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:

(1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts


(3) That the member has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.

[omitted sections deal with exceptions to the law]

So gays who join the military can’t have a romantic relationship (after all, even kissing or holding hands by two men can be considered “a homosexual act or acts”). I stand by my original conclusion: I might support that – but only if we apply it to heterosexuals, too.

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