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Army creates ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ resource website

Military Chiefs at a Don't Ask, Don't Tell hearing before the House Armed Services Committee

The United States Army has put together an informational website regarding the upcoming repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

According to the Army, the website was launched last week to provide the most up-to-date information for servicemembers and their families on the law's repeal.

"It's a way for the Army to provide the latest and greatest information about the repeal to Soldiers, family members and the public," said spokesperson Lt. Col Timothy M. Beninato via a media release.

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Nonprofit Spotlight: American Veterans for Equal Rights

Danny Ingram of American Veterans for Equal Rights

Although “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been officially repealed with President Barack Obama’s signature, when the repeal will actually be implemented is still not determined.

For more than 20 years, American Veterans for Equal Rights has sought fairness for LGBT people in the military and to make sure LGBT veterans have access to benefits, says Danny Ingram of Decatur. Ingram is the former Georgia AVER chapter president and now serves as the national president for the nonprofit organization.

Each year the Georgia AVER chapter holds a Taps service at Piedmont Park on Memorial Day.

“The national organization started about 21 years ago in Washington, D.C., and the Georgia chapter was formed about eight years by Jeff Cleghorn, who is now a board member for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund,” Ingram says.

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By the numbers: Your tax dollars at work

$520

Hourly rate the U.S. House planned to pay law firm King & Spalding to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal ban on gay marriage.

$500,000

The initial cap on congressional payments to King & Spalding, which could be negotiated higher.

$193.3 million

What the military spent from 2004 to 2009 to replace gay troops discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ The policy is now being repealed.

$125,000

Estimated cost of one congressional hearing. Since resuming control of the U.S. House, Republicans have held three on gay issues: Two on repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and one on DOMA.

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Service Chiefs: DADT repeal implementation ‘going very well’

Military Chiefs at a Don't Ask, Don't Tell hearing before the House Armed Services Committee

The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing today on the implementation of the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” For the first time since the repeal was signed into law by President Barack Obama late last year, the military's service chiefs were called before Congress to testify on the anti-gay policy's repeal.

Though no firm date for full repeal was given, several service chiefs said their branches are aiming to complete training before mid-summer and that most were on track or ahead of schedule with regard to training.

Today's hearing featured Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who represented the Army in the place of Gen. George Casey, who was tending to family matters.

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Gay military org creates magazine for gay soldiers

OutServe Magazine's debut issue drops in April

OutServe, a collection of underground LGBT military personnel, announced today that it will publish a new magazine geared toward gay servicemembers. OutServe was formed in 2010 as the debate over the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy moved into the political spotlight.

The magazine's inaugural cover highlights a United States military in a post-DADT era.

“Our first objective with the magazine is to let all the gay, lesbian, bi, and trans members currently serving know that they are not alone,” said OutServe’s co-director, an active-duty officer who goes by the pseudonym JD Smith, via a press release. “And we also want to communicate to all troops that there are capable gay military members serving honorably, and that accepting that and moving on will make our military stronger.”

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Servicemembers United: Military discharged 261 under DADT in 2010

The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security discharged 261 gay and lesbian troops last year under the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, according to Servicemembers United.

The policy, which has since been legislatively repealed, is still technically in effect. President Barack Obama signed the repeal into law late last year but it must be certified by military leaders and the president. After certification, the ban will remain law for 60 days.

No indication has been made about the process used to certify the bill or how long the process will take.

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HRC announces Atlanta community award winners

The director of an Atlanta HIV agency and an activist who fought to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be honored at this year's Human Rights Campaign Atlanta Gala Dinner, set for May 14.

Jeff Cleghorn, a retired Army major and Atlanta attorney, will receive the Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award from HRC. As a staff member and now board member with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Cleghorn worked to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay soldiers.

In December, Cleghorn was one of at least four Atlantans invited to the White House to see President Barack Obama sign legislation that will repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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Atlanta activists scold Ga. Rep. Franklin over anti-gay comments

Ga. Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta)Atlanta's Queer Justice League, a local advocacy group, plans to hold State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) accountable for his statements regarding the repeal of the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

During an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal, Franklin compared gays to drug dealers while discussing his opposition to DADT’s repeal:

"The Bible says it's a capital offense," Franklin said. "You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it's not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things. The church is full of sinners, but we're told in 1st Corinthians it rattled off the homosexual, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, and such were some of you, but you've been washed, you've been justified and so forth. It's not what you were. You're not punishing a thought. But do you want an unrepentant drug dealer in the military? Same thing."

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AID Atlanta hosts discussion on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

AID Atlanta’s gay outreach program will host a discussion on the recent repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy tomorrow at AID Atlanta’s offices.

The discussion will focus on how repeal will affect the LGBT community at-large, as well as the “long standing love affair between gay men and men in uniform.”

The group will meet from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. As always, the meeting is open to the public.

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Adm. Mullen: Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ comes down to ‘integrity’

Last night the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Among the many topics discussed, Mullen addressed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

"People give me a great deal of credit for this," Mullen said. "It really was, from my perspective, an integrity issue. Our military is an institution that has integrity as a value. I'm delighted that the law has changed."

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Defense secretary lays out plan for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal implementation

Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave the first indication of a move toward the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” late last week when he released a memo calling on military leaders to draft training material needed before the repeal’s implementation.

According to the memos, the effective date of repeal has yet to be determined, but they do, however, outline the upcoming policy changes each branch of the military will face after the law is overturned.

The memos also state that once repeal is certified, the military will no longer be allowed to discharge members of the armed services because of their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation and must cease all open investigations regarding gay servicemembers.  The change in policy will also allow previously discharged soldiers the opportunity to re-enlist.