Don't Ask, Don't Tell — the US military's year ban on openly gay and lesbian service personnel — has officially been repealed, ushering in a new era for the country's armed forces. In a statement President Barack Obama welcomed the end of a policy that he said had forced gay and lesbian members to "lie about who they are". The repeal, which took effect from midnight on Tuesday, was celebrated as "momentous news" by gay lobby groups across the US, who have long fought against the policy, and among the military's estimated 65, serving gay and lesbian servicemen and women. Obama said he was confident that lifting the ban would enhance national security.
All male Singaporean citizens and non-first generation permanent residents, including homosexual , bisexual and male-at-birth transgender individuals, who have reached the age of 18 years are required to enroll for National Service under the Enlistment Act. The way gay and transgender servicemen are viewed and treated is largely dependent on the views of the military authorities who write the confidential manpower directives which govern the management of these enlistees even though these authorities are advised by external, non-military psychiatrists. Discrimination exists because even though the SAF does not regard homosexuality as a disease or mental illness, it is obliged to treat gay servicemen who declare their sexual orientation differently because, according to some accounts, " homosexuality " and " transsexualism " are listed in the outdated ICD-9 International Classification of Diseases , 9th revision , a medical classification system which is still being used by the SAF today. Following the ICD-9 , homosexual and transgender servicemen are classified under Category This policy is highly contradictory and irrational. It is perplexing why no SAF psychiatrist, psychologist or manpower officer with decision-making authority has seen it fit to revamp the status quo because all international medical organisations now regard homosexuality as a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality.
Throughout its history, the US Military had an inconsistent policy when it came to gay people in the military. During World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, the military defined homosexuality as a mental defect and officially barred homosexuals from serving based on medical criteria. However, when personnel needs increased due to combat, the military developed a habit of relaxing its screening criteria.
Others want to turn to the fight for same-sex marriage. Still more will celebrate a triumph of civil rights. But for many of those kicked out of the U. They say it will strengthen the armed forces.