Wednesday, September 21, 2011

dont ask dont tell

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Duxbury, Vermont - As the formal repeal of the military "do not ask, do not tell" policy came into force, Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were married before a small group of family and friends.

The two men who had been together 11 years, decided to marry in Vermont, in part because the state is in the Eastern time zone.

So they were able to say their vows at midnight by a space - the first possible moment after the ban ended.

"I think it was a beautiful ceremony. The emotions really hit me ... but it's finally official," Ross said early Tuesday.

Hours before the change, the U.S. military has also made final preparations for the historic change of policy. The Pentagon announced it had accepted applications from candidates openly gay, though officials said they hope to one day before your exam.

Ross, 33, and Dan Swezy, a civilian, 49, traveled from his home in Tucson, Arizona, so they can marry in Vermont, the first state to allow homosexuals to enter civil unions and a of the six that have legalized gay marriage.

Ross has used his uniform for the double ring ceremony, which began on Monday at 23:45 Moose Meadow Lodge Duxbury, bed and breakfast log cabin perched on a hill about 15 km northwest of Montpelier. Lodge says it will host the first gay marriage in the state in 2009.

Justice of the Peace said Greg Trulson marriage exactly at midnight.

"It's official Gary," said Trulson.

Swezy Ross and joined friends and some family members who shared champagne and congratulations to them after the ceremony.

Ross said he plans to have a full career in the army. "We are very happy with the political party," he said of his Swezy and reaction at the end of "do not ask, do not say anything."

The Pentagon press secretary George Little said Monday that the army is ready at the end of "Do not ask, do not say," a practice that was adopted in 1993 that homosexuals be allowed to serve as an 'they openly acknowledge their sexual orientation. The commanders were not allowed to ask.

Last week, the Pentagon said 97 percent of the army was trained in the new law.

In preparation for Tuesday to repeal all the military branches have spent several months updating the legislation. The elimination of the ban will also bring an end to all pending investigations, emissions and other procedures that were started under the old law.

Barack Obama signed the law last December and July to certify that the lifting of the ban will not reduce the ability of soldiers to the fight. Some in Congress continue to oppose its repeal, saying it could undermine good order and discipline.

Current standards of personal conduct, such as those related to public displays of affection, will continue, regardless of sexual orientation.

There will be no immediate changes to eligibility for military benefits. All service members are already entitled to certain benefits, such as the appointment of a partner as a life insurance beneficiary or caregiver in the program of Wounded Warrior. Swezy but will not receive military medical insurance or access to a support group, where Ross is at sea


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