Marriage Equality: A Personal View From the Military

The other day was one of those truly great days. When I turned on NPR, the Attorney General of South Dakota was talking about marrying homosexual couples immediately. A wonderful end to an incredible journey.

I still remember watching Admiral Michael Mullen saying in front of Congress, "For me personally, it comes down to integrity; theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

I told my friend, Gautam, this was a watershed moment for LGBT rights and I still doubt how few people understand the profundity of that comment to the US Military. Fast forward a few months, and we were watching the President repeal DADT after Gautam had worked tirelessly with DoD leader to create equality in our military.

A few months after that a Soldier I had the privilege of serving with in Iraq sent email to me and many others talking about his struggle to serve while being gay. It was an amazing letter which I read to Gautam and Brian, both of who were instrumental at helping LGBT rights in the Obama Administration, we were all in tears. He, the Soldier, talked about much he struggled with keeping his secret, how it prevented him from forming bonds in his unit. "Secrets eat at you," he wrote.

He told us of his own recent marriage and that they had just moved to a state that would not recognize their marriage. He had to worry about these things while deployed in Afghanistan.

When the SCOTUS declare equality and freedom for all relationships in this country I was in the Pentagon. While it was amusing to watch civilians their grimace at the prospect of change, almost every officer I saw in the building was relieved at the ruling. They now could treat all their service members AND their families the same.

In spite of an inspiring display by our military, showing how an organization viewed as stodgy and conservative minded can change, for me, personally, its about a great Soldier who can be honest with his fellow Soldiers and has the freedom to love and marry whomever his heart desires.

Equal under God and the Laws of the Nation he serves.