Why DOMA Repeal Still Matters

The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy may be history in the military but there are still problems keeping some from joining.

Lesbian couple Jessica Lohmeier and Lauren Russell have both served in the U.S. Army, and now after having a son, Lohmeier is ready to reenlist.

“In 2009, I had James and now I’m ready to get back in the military,” said Jessica Lohmeier, who served in the Army Reserves for two years.

But she was stopped at the gate by recruiting regulations.

“They said because I have full custody of a child, I have to have a marriage license,” said Lohmeier.

Wait till you hear why this is:

The idea is to have a spouse able to care for the child should a tragedy happen to her overseas. But, her spouse of choice isn’t acceptable.

“Of course, I am going to take care of him that’s my job as a second parent, We are a three person family. I love her like my wife and James as my son,” said Lauren Russell, Lohmeier’s partner.

A spokesperson from the defense press office at the Pentagon said the Department Of Defense policy says, “military services may not enlist an unmarried individual with a child under 18.” The statement goes on to say, “As a federal entity, the military is prohibitted from recognizing same-sex marriage.”

So now Lohmeier will be forced to go and marry a man, even if it’s a total sham, in order to get back into the military. Another reason why DOMA has to go.

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  • Chiroptera

    Is there a way to appeal this bureaucratic decision? Any sensible bureaucracy has a procedure to use when extraordinary cases arise that requires the usual regulations to be waived.

    If not, then this is an example of the DoD being basically a bureaucracy that is not particularly sensible. (I suspect that our colleagues who are military veterans are going to chime in saying, “Duh!”)

  • Abby Normal

    So now Lohmeier will be forced to go and marry a man, even if it’s a total sham, in order to get back into the military.

    Don’t be dramatic. She doesn’t have to marry anyone to get back in the army. She just needs to give her child up for adoption.

    (If you’re not rolling your eyes, you should be.)

    It’s an interesting regulation, assuming it’s being accurately represented. If they ever reinstate the draft, instead of fleeing to Canada, hippies can just have kids out of wedlock. Free love wins again!

  • Also, as we all know, the DOMA is a bad deal for foreign-domestic gay couples. My wife had a hard time even getting a work visa before we met, but once we married, she was fast-tracked to getting a green card. If I was a woman xor her a man, that wouldn’t be an option.

  • fifthdentist

    But they will send military couples, both of whom are enlisted, on tours at the same time. It requires them to create a plan for who will care for the children in case of this happening. And there is always the case that both the man and woman could be killed while deployed at the same time, so this regulation sounds kinda fishy.