The Spectrum Club is bidding a joyous adieu to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The legislation that banned anyone who was openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual from serving in the military was repealed last month, and the Spectrum Club couldn’t be more thrilled.
What better way to celebrate the repeal of the “Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell” legislation than to throw a funeral party in its honor?
The UVU Spectrum Club: Queers & Allies Association has decided to say “goodbye & good riddance” to the controversial DADT legislation that prevented anyone from being openly gay in the military by throwing a military-themed funeral party on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in CS 213B.
In speaking to Frey Seagrove, president of the Spectrum Club, he emphasized how huge a victory the repealing of DADT is for the Gay/Bisexual/Lesbian/Transgendercommunity.
“This legal discrimination has been going on for way too long.”
Before DADT was repealed, it was against federal law for any member of the military to be openly gay. “This one specifically said you can get kicked out of the military for being openly gay,” said Seagrove. When DADT put in place in 1993, its initial purpose was to protect gays and lesbians within the military.
“It was kind of like the colorblind idea, like ?Oh, if we treat everybody the same, we won’t have to pay attention to it,?” Seagrove explained. “But the basic fact is people are not the same and what it turned into was a gay witch hunt.”
Seagrove also spoke about how the repeal of DADT will hopefully affect students at UVU. “It really sets a precedent for our school. It shows that our country is moving towards a more tolerant era,” he said.
Currently, UVU does not protect its students from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. One of the primary goals of the Spectrum club has been trying to get the administration to change UVU policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity against discrimination.
Seagrove hopes that the repeal of DADT will be “a wake up call to our administration that we really do need policy changes. This is something that is happening nationally and it’s something that we need to jump onto,” he said.
A Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Timeline
President Ronald Reagan issues a defense directive which states that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” Any member of the military who had participated in homosexual activity or had stated that they were homosexual or bisexual is immediately discharged.
Congress passes a bill titled the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1994. Within that bill, text is inserted that requires the military to follow the outright ban of homosexuality in the military that President Reagan’s defense directive outlined in 1982.
President Bill Clinton issues a defense directive that states military personnel are not to be asked about their sexual orientation. Meant as a compromise, the directive later becomes known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The Supreme Court rules unanimously that federal funds could be withheld from universities if said universities barred military recruiters on their campuses. The recruiters were being barred because they violated the universities’ non- discrimination policies. The law is challenged and upheld ?ve times in federal court.
Senator Barrack Obama promises to fully repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during his presidential campaign.
The House of Representatives approve the Murphy Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2011. This amendment would repeal pertinent sections of the DADT law 60 days after the completion of a study by the U.S. Department of Defense on whether the repeal would not harm military effectiveness and is certi?ed by the U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and President Obama. However, the Senate rejects the bill.
Senator John McCain, R-A.Z., leads a successful Republican ?libuster that stops the repeal from being debated. The bill stays untouched in the Senate for four months.
The House of Representatives again pass a bill to repeal DADT, hoping new momentum will get the bill passed in the Senate.
The Senate votes to repeal DADT on the 18th, and the bill wins by a vote of 65-31.
President Obama signed the repeal into law on the 22nd.The Spectrum Club is throwing a military-themed funeral party on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in CS 213B.