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Marines loving Britney

BY NOREEN FAGAN – Marines lip-synching to Britney Spears sounds like an odd combination, but it works. The United States Marines of 266 Rein paid homage to the pop star by recording a hip-jiving, lip-synching video of "Hold It Against Me."

The boys and gals on the base are obviously having a good time, and since Britney is a gay icon (although not for all of us) it makes me wonder about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — the United States law that for 17 years barred gays and lesbian from serving openly in the military. 

On December 22, 2010, President Obama signed legislation that resulted in the repeal of the law. At the time military officials and gay rights groups warned gay troops not to come out, as the new law would not go into effect until the 60-day waiting period had expired.

That period has now passed, but the ban remains in place until the military certifies that it can be lifted without damaging the services. However, in April, a gay sailor  — who was outed in 2009 — was told that he could remain in the navy, as the ban was effectively dead. 

For many gays and lesbians, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a momentous occasion and a sign that the conservative stronghold on social issues is slowly eroding. An article published in The Advocate tells the story of one woman, Miriam Ben-Shalom, who was discharged from the army in 1975 for being a lesbian — the repeal was a long-awaited moment for her.

In a recent article, Xtra's Marcus McCann talked to Judith Butler about various issues, including her views on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

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