Darren Manzella first came out in an article reported in The
Advocate last July, and it's now been three weeks since
Manzella came out on 60 Minutes, which also
aired a home video of him kissing a former boyfriend.
But in that time, Manzella, who served as a medic in
Kuwait, has not been dismissed or even punished for
violating the military policy "don't ask, don't tell,"
according to USA Today.
"I thought I
would at least be asked about the segment or approached
and told I shouldn't speak to the media again," said
Manzella, who, according to gay advocacy group
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, is not alone.
documented about 500 openly gay troops currently
serving without consequence. "That's the highest
number we've ever been aware of," SLDN spokesman Steve
Ralls told USA Today. "Their experiences point
to an undeniable shift in the armed forces."
troops have been discharged under the policy since it was
signed by President Clinton in 1993, but the number of
discharges have decreased sharply since the start of
the Iraq war.
of the Center for Military Readiness, an organization
supporting the ban on gays and lesbians in the
military, tried to contact Manzella's superiors after
his appearance on the news program. "His commanders
should be disciplined appropriately for failing to do
their duty," Donnelly said, after failing to receive
any response from officials at his base in Fort Hood,
conducts an investigation whenever a soldier discloses
that he's gay, but Manzella said that despite his
coming out to his superiors, they reported they found
no evidence of homosexuality. (The Advocate)