A new Facebook page celebrates the fall of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the new era for gays in the Marines.
“Gay Marines,” designated a society/culture page, is one of a number of new social media outlets for gay and lesbian servicemembers following the full repeal of DADT last fall.
That policy, enacted in the 1990s, prohibited military officers from asking about sexual orientation, but also prohibited servicemembers from serving openly.
Response to a photograph of a gay Marine getting a “welcome-home” kiss posted on Feb. 25 shows the popularity of the FB page – and the new era of openness. Within two days, nearly 19,000 people had liked the image, more than 4,000 offered comments and more than 3,000 shared the photo.
One fan wrote, “Wow. This brought me to tears. A Marine out risking his life so we can all sleep soundly at night. We should be thankful – as thankful as he is in the picture to be home to the one he loves. Is that too much to ask? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!”
The pictured gay Marine answered to all, “Everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. ...As for the haters, let ’em hate.”
The about section says the page exists “to provide information and discussion pertinent to gay Marines, their spouses, significant others, friends and allies. Service personnel of all branches are welcome, but the focus here is on the United States Marine Corps.”
The page features celebratory posts, such as a video of Marines dancing.
But also cautions and reminders that the service branches still must deal with anti-gay policies and homophobia. One warning stated, “A Young Gay Marine told me that his squad was told by their Sgt that even if you are gay ‘don't come out or we will beat the shit of you.’ The pressure and fear is still pervasive. Keep supporting those you know who are active.”