legal gay marriage vs. don't ask don't tell

This question came up in discussion the other day, and none of us knew the answer. I’m not even sure there is a factual answer yet, but I hope there is. Basically, how does the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy handle enlistees who are legally wed to someone of the same gender?

That’s a really interesting question. Think I’ll stick around and see if there’s an answer!

My WAG is that the military’s policy doesn’t care if you’re legally gay married. The policy affects open gays in the military, which I’m sure legally married gays would count as. Thus it seems like they would kick them out.

I don’t know, and hopefully someone with more military knowledge will answer. I will contribute, though, that under DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages even in states where they are performed. So I would guess that the Armed Forces do not recognize or acknowledge same-sex marriages. You wouldn’t be able to list someone of the same sex as your spouse for purposes of benefits, for example.

Attempting to do so, I would assume, would violate “Don’t ask, don’t tell” because you would be telling. But I’d be interested to know for sure.

According to the Pentagon’s policy guidelines for the implementation of the policy, bolding mine:

Thanks! That’s exactly what I was curious about.

I wonder how that will play out as more and more gay people get married.

Statements, Acts, or Marriages.

That is the US Military’s three big violations of DADT. Anytime the Army ever gives its soldiers a DADT briefing, they discuss these three ways to violate the “Don’t tell” rule.

Simply stating that you are homosexual.

Engaging in homosexual activity. It must be actual homosexual activity though. Going to a gay bar, partying with gay people, having a gay magazine in your room, or going to a gay pride parade are not “Acts”.

Marry a person of the same sex.

Do any of those three and you violate DADT.

So homosexual conduct is defined as stating that one is homosexual? Man, that’s some kind of Newspeak right there.

What if a straight guy wants to get out of his commitment? Can he just say he’s gay and hit the bricks?

Well, that’s kind of what “telling” is. If you tell the Army that you are homosexual, you are going to get discharged. It won’t necessarily be a good one either, since you swore you were not homosexual when you joined.

Yeah, he can. Happens all the time. Thought they don’t have to take your word for it. There’s usually an investigation into background, etc.

I obviously don’t know much about this. Wouldn’t making me swear that I’m not gay be asking me if I’m gay? What does “Don’t ask don’t tell” even mean, then?

What for? They have already *defined *a homosexual act as stating you are gay, and committing a homosexual act is grounds for discharge. It’s a prima facie case.

No you’re right! Ha ha. They make you sign a statement saying you understand the policy right before you go swear to defend the constitution. LOL. Many years ago, its all a blur now.

But since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is an Army Regulation, you can get prosecuted and discharged for violating an “order or regulation”.

As many people as I’ve seen weaseling their way out of the Army, I have never seen this method.

But there will have to be an official investigation to determine if you did in fact state that you are gay. You’ll have to fill out sworn statements and stuff. I don’t think they care too much about looking in to prior history.
If you go to a commander and out yourself, you will be discharged.

That’s what I meant. Sorry that it was unclear. In my mind it was clear as a bell. :slight_smile:

So saying you’re gay is a dischargeable offense, regardless of whether you’re actually gay or not. Is that right?

So if I’m in the army and have a wife and five kids, plus a girlfriend on the side, and go to my commander and tell him I’m gay – they’re not going to care if it’s true or not? Automatic discharge?

That isn’t true. And were it to happen, it would violate the (never-enforced) “Don’t Ask” half of DADT.

ETA: I see this has already been raised and conceded.

How would they know if it’s true or not? Why insist on crazy hypotheticals. It’s a ridiculous law that will inevitably have ridiculous consequences and dubious application in practice.
Such a thing would be handled by local commanders and not “The Army”. There is no blanket answer to such a thing because it depends on the person making the claim, and the unit commander and who knows what else.

Hell, there is an officer in the New York National Gaurd who outted himself and is fighting DADT to stay IN! Much of his unit supports him.

There are a number of servicemembers who have outed themselves and are fighting DADT to stay in.

Some people might like this article, regarding what is and is not a violation of DADT, and advice to gay servicemembers as long as DADT is in force:

Wait, so on the one hand, we have the “Defense” of Marriage Act, which states that the Federal Government will not recognize gay marriage, and on the other hand, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which does in fact recognize gay marriage (albeit in a bad way). Since the DoMA is more recent, shouldn’t it have superceded that aspect of DADT?