Monday, July 6, 2009


"Serving In Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story"

Glenn Close

From Wikipedia:

Margarethe "Grethe" Cammermeyer (born March 24, 1942) is a former colonel in the Washington National Guard and a gay rights activist. Born in Oslo, Norway, she became a United States citizen in 1960. In 1961 she joined the Army Student Nurse Program. She received a B.S. in Nursing in 1963 from the University of Maryland.

She met her partner, Diane Divelbess, in 1988, when she was 46 — after she had ended a 15-year marriage to a man and had four sons.

In 1989, in response to a question during a routine security clearance interview, she disclosed that she is a lesbian. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was not yet in effect at the time, and the National Guard began military discharge proceedings against her. On June 11, 1992, she was honorably discharged from the military. Cammermeyer filed a lawsuit against the decision in civil court. In June 1994, Judge Thomas Zilly of the federal district court in Seattle ruled her discharge, and the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military, unconstitutional. She returned to the National Guard and served as one of the few officially accepted openly gay or lesbian people in the military until her retirement in 1997.

After retirement, Cammermeyer ran for the United States Congress in Washington's 2nd congressional district in 1998. She won the Democratic primary, but lost in the general election to Republican incumbent Jack Metcalf.

An excellent biography on Cammermeyer can be found here.

In the second picture, the televersion of Cammermeyer is pictured with Diane Divelbess, her life partner, who was played by Judy Davis.

It may seem like I'm featuring a lot of military personnel these last few days in the "As Seen On TV" feature, but it had nothing to do with the Fourth of July holiday. In this case, it was because the late Jan Rubes appeared in this TV movie and so this came out of my research on his TV roles. The others grew out of my Hat Squad tributes to the late Karl Malden and Harve Presnell.


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