social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Anthony, Susan B. Anthony, Susan B.
Although best known for her crusade for women's suffrage, Susan B. Anthony spoke out on a range of feminist issues.
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
Androgyny Androgyny
Androgyny, a psychological blending of gender traits, has long been embraced by strong women, soft men, members of queer communities, and others who do not easily fit into traditionally defined gender categories.
A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.
Congratulations to Major Margaret Witt and Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 09/06/11
Last updated on: 09/06/11
Bookmark and Share

Margarethe Cammermeyer presided over a retirement ceremony honoring Major Margaret Witt and Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach.

On September 4, 2011, less than three weeks before Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), the military policy that prohibits gay and lesbian servicemembers from serving openly, is officially repealed, Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer presided over a retirement ceremony honoring Major Margaret Witt and Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach.

The ceremony was particularly poignant because Cammermeyer, Witt, and Fehrenbach are all three heroes of the movement to end the discriminatory policy. They fought back and resisted their discharges.

Cammermeyer, a distinguished nurse, was discharged from the National Guard in 1992, but sued and won reinstatement in 1994. She officially retired with full honors and benefits in 1997.

Major Witt, a decorated flight nurse, was discharged under DADT in 2006, and sued for reenlistment. After a long legal fight, she not only won her case but established a key legal precedent, the "Witt standard," which requires that the military must prove (as opposed to simply asserting) that openly gay servicemembers actually impair unit cohesion and damage morale.

The Witt standard was key not only in the success of Major Witt's own battle, which resulted in her reinstatement in 2010, but it was also crucial in the Log Cabin Republicans suit that resulted in the declaration that the DADT policy is unconstitutional.

When he was targeted for discharge in 2008, decorated fighter pilot Lt. Colonel Fehrenbach sued before the discharge became official. He won an injunction against the processing of the discharge and ultimately negotiated a settlement that allowed him to retire on his own terms, with full honors and benefits. As Colonel Cammermeyer remarked at the ceremony, "he has worn the uniform as the officer and pilot and human being that he is, and said 'Take me on.'"

At the ceremony, another casualty of DADT, Army Captain Jonathan Hopkins, who was discharged in 2010, remarked of Witt and Fehrenbach, "Today we have honored two Airmen who have fought not just for their country in battle, but also for civil rights in a cause far greater than themselves."

Witt and Fehrenback will officially retire on October 1, 2011.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.