Brig. Gen. Tammy S. Smith and her wife, Tracey Hepner. General Smith is the first openly gay officer of flag rank in the American military.

With the posthumous revelation of the late Dr. Sally Ride’s sexual orientation, a lot of media commentators suggested, rightly I think, that the time may have come for us to start talking about prominent people simply because they may be gay. However, today’s mention in the NYT of the US military promoting its first openly gay general is noteworthy because it shows a military (always by necessity a conservative organization) adapting to changes and cultural shifts in society, and that, I would argue, is a good thing.

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