Yesterday, The House of Representatives voted to overturn the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving in the U.S. military, passing legislation repealing the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The “standalone” bill passed 250 to 175 in a virtual party-line vote. It now advances to the Senate.
In other military-related news, the ACLU, the Service Women’s Action Network, and a few other organizations teamed up to file a lawsuit on Monday with the U.S. District Court in New Haven, Connecticut against the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs for their failure to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests seeking government records documenting incidents of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military.
“The government’s refusal to even take the first step of providing comprehensive and accurate information about the sexual trauma inflicted upon our women and men in uniform, and the treatment and benefits MST survivors receive after service, is all too telling,” said Anuradha Bhagwati, a former Marine captain and Executive Director of SWAN. “The DOD and VA should put the interests of service members first and expose information on the extent of sexual trauma in the military to the sanitizing light of day.”