On Tuesday, 20 September, the Pentagon formally repealed its controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning openly homosexual soldiers, finally allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military. The move brings American armed forces into the ranks of most western nations, including Canada, the UK, France, Italy and Spain, as well as Australia, Israel, Russia, Argentina, South Africa, Thailand and Japan. The “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010” which made the change possible was signed December 22, 2010 by President Obama, but its implementation was delayed pending a comprehensive review of its likely effects, and training in the new policy for military personnel.
Sappho, an asteroid named for a famed Greek Lesbian poet, which resonates to gay and lesbian issues, was at 15 Gemini on September 20, tightly semisquare Mars, ruling the military, at 1 Leo. On the date the Act was signed, Mars and Sappho were conjunct at 11 and 15 Capricorn, opposing the USA natal Sun at 13 Cancer, with Sappho then in exact inconjunct to its degree for its later implementation, bringing the adjustment (inconjunct) in policy. Asteroid America at 25 Gemini for the signing of the Act was conjoined the USA natal Mars at 21 Gemini, both squared by a transit union of Jupiter (policy, politics) and Uranus (change, modernization) at 25 and 26 Pisces.
From 15 Gemini at the policy’s implementation, Sappho was also squared asteroid America at 10 Virgo and Mercury (ruling decisions and service professions) at 20 Virgo, trine Saturn (rules and regulations, hierarchies) at 17 Libra, and inconjunct asteroid Washingtonia (representing the nation’s capital) at 17 Scorpio. Sappho was further supported by semisextile aspects from two other asteroids with gay associations, Ganymed (Zeus’ cupbearer and lover) at 14 Taurus, and Antinous (real-life lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, deified after his untimely death by drowning in the Nile) at 17 Cancer, both of which also aspect Mercury, Saturn and Washingtonia.
Transit Sappho was also approaching conjunction with the US natal Mars at 21 Gemini, recently opposed by the June 15 Lunar Eclipse at 24 Sagittarius, and the USA’s natal Sappho at 3 Virgo, currently undergoing a trine aspect from Pluto (transformation, self-empowerment, taboo), will be squared by the December 2012 Solar Eclipse at 2 Sagittarius.
Just after midnight local time, when the new policy took effect, Navy Lieutenant Gary Ross and his partner of 11 years, Dan Swezy, were married in Vermont, one of six US states which allow same-sex unions. In a YouTube video which went viral just hours after the ban on gays in the military was lifted, an unidentified soldier stationed in Germany, who has been blogging anonymously about the effects of living under the ban, came out to his father in Alabama over the phone, in celebration of his newly gained freedom of self-expression.