"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy hits home for Ellsworth sergeant - KOTA Territory News

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy hits home for Ellsworth sergeant



Matthew Horn


"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a policy that was implemented in 1993 under the Clinton administration.

In times where people are more progressive than ever, the policy remains.

Jene' Newsome served nine years in the Air Force, with a spotless record.
"Its crazy you know, nine years long haul, deployment, dedication.  I planned on making a career," Newsome said.

But her military career came to an abrupt end, all because of an out-of-state arrest warrant for her wife, Cheryl Hutson.

Additionally because of a visiting Rapid City police officer who saw a piece of paper on the kitchen table.
Newsome said, "he informed me that he saw a marriage certificate on the kitchen table and he said he knew how the military worked and he'd let OSI handle it."
Newsome said she thinks the RCPD is retaliating because the officer found her to be uncooperative in investigating her wife.

Soon after the officer's promise, she was discharged from the military.
"I feel like my privacy was violated," she said.
"Even though an official from Ellsworth couldn't go on camera for this story. The 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy was implemented 16 years ago," Matthew Horn reported.

"I think that is a very strong starting point for a process that the president believes will end...believes will end in overturning, rightly overturning that law," Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, said.
A recent military poll shows active-duty service members are more accepting of allowing gays to serve openly.

Newsome said there is still a long way to go. But, every step they [the military] takes to repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", is a step closer to equality.
Newsome added, "there comes a point where you can't do it anymore, you know? Even though I was going to continue to do it, its kind of a good and bad thing, the discharge."
Because now, Newsome and Hutson can live without the constant fear that someone else's knowledge of their relationship will end her career. 

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