By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The Pentagon on Tuesday saluted open gays in the ranks, with a civilian lawyer calling on fellow homosexuals to "stretch a little" and become more visible inside the military in the drive for benefits for same-sex couples.
Three months after President Obama lifted the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military, Pentagon officials say heterosexual troops are adjusting well to the new policy. Critics, however, say they are just following orders, and a recent survey showed many troops reporting a rise in tension.
Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military is a step toward equality, advocates say, but a fight for other social changes such as gay marriage still lies ahead.
Sue Fulton, who is on the board of visitors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where she graduated in 1980, told a standing-room crowd in the Pentagon auditorium that removing the ban is "not even a speed bump" at the academy.
'don't ask, don't tell'