Next Tuesday is the day.
“They really took the time to train and educate the force on the various assets of this policy and hypotheticals,” Nicholson said. “It was an hour of instruction on gays and lesbians, on gay families, on gay partners and it was a really a normalization routine. It was really exposed to millions of America’s most conservative youth to the normality of gays and lesbians.”
Among the situations that the training addressed, Nicholson said, were gay troops holding hands, going on dates or participating in military events with their partners. Nearly 2 million service members received the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” training before certification took place on July 22, according to the Pentagon.
Workplace discrimination against LGBT people could be an issue that gains new focus after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. No federal law exists to protect LGBT workers against discrimination. Firing someone for being gay is legal in 29 states and firing someone for being transgender is legal in 35 states.
Krehely said open service could generate support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT workers in most situations in the public and private workforce, or encourage other employers to add protections for LGBT workers.
“The military is probably one of the biggest and most visible workplaces in our country,” Krehely said. “I think Sept. 20 is a clear indication that this discrimination should not be there any longer, and that we need to move forward on ENDA, and educate people about the broader workplace issues that we’re up against.”