US personnel are still banned from accessing LGBT content from US Department of Defense computers well over a year after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
The US Department of Defense is still banning personnel from accessing LGBT websites despite the US having ended its ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military
AMERICAblog discovered that it and an another popular LGBT themed blog, Towleroad could not be accessed from Department of Defense computers.
Towleroad was banned under the webfilter category ‘Blogs/Personal Pages; LGBT’ while AMERICAblog was unaccessible from US Air Force computers for being ‘political’ and ‘activist.’
AMERICAblog asked the OutServe-SLDN association for active duty LGBT military personnel to confirm the continued banning of access to LGBT themed websites and were shocked to find that even www.Josh.Seefried.com, a website discussing LGBT military issues operated by one of OutServe’s own co-directors was banned under the LGBT filter.
However despite some LGBT websites being banned for being ‘political,’ blogs and websites for conservative commentators including talk radio host Rush Limbaugh’s and author Ann Coulter were not banned by the Defense Department. Neither were anti-LGBT lobby groups such as the American Family Association.
‘What’s really offensive is that at least one of the Pentagon’s safe-surfing Internet filters has a censorship category called “LGBT” and if you’re deemed “LGBT” by the Pentagon, they ban you,’ AMERICAblog editor John Aravosis wrote after uncovering the story.
‘I wonder how long the Pentagon computers would ban all things Jewish or Catholic. This should have been fixed a very long time ago, and in fact, it should never have happened.’
‘The Pentagon was notified of the problem as early as last summer, 2012. Yet no one’s gotten around to doing anything about it.’
Gay and lesbian Americans have been able to openly serve in the US military since September 20 of 2011 when the repeal of the so-called policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by the Obama Administration came into effect.
Following AMERICAblog’s coverage the Department of Defense released a statement claiming that it did not ban websites based on LGBT content but because they were blogs.
‘The Department of Defense does not block LGBT websites,’ the statement reads.
‘The pages referenced in several recent articles were denied access based on web filters blocking the “Blog/Personal Pages” category, not the specific sites themselves.’
‘Personal pages and blogs are blocked in accordance with DoD policy allowing military commanders the option to restrict access to personal pages for operational security reasons.’