There is also the fact that 219 of the 330 current and former astronauts served in the military, according to NASA. The U.S. military operated under a "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy from 1993 until 2011, under which gay and lesbian servicemen and women had to remain closeted or risk expulsion. The repeal of DADT last year allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military for the first time in history.
Of NASA's continued culture of no one asking and no one telling, Gaffney of Marriage Equality USA said, "Ultimately, it's a culture that needs to and will change. Harvey Milk said, 'Come out, come out, wherever you are.' The point being that the world needs to know, and LGBT youth need to see, that we really are everywhere and that includes people in every walk of life. Some professions have been quicker to change than others. Every profession is going to change. And the news this week about Sally Ride is just one more example of that."
He added, "It will be part of her legacy that change will come to her profession as well."
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