Army names first openly lesbian general
Army officer Tammy S. Smith, 49, became the first openly lesbian military general in U.S. history on Sunday after the Army promoted her to the rank of Brigadier General.
Smith co-founded the LGBT advocacy group Military Partners and Families Coalition, and openly acknowledged her sexual orientation on Sunday, The New York Times noted, by having her wife, Tracey Hepner, pin her first star to her uniform.
It took an act of Congress for the military to drop its discriminatory anti-gay policies, but it finally did in 2011, 18 years after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was implemented. More than 14,000 soldiers were expelled from the service due to their sexual orientation during that time.
Despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask,” same sex partners of active duty soldiers still do not enjoy the same benefits as heterosexual couples.
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