October 21, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell Verses Do Tell

U.S. wins bid to delay 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' rulingThe Obama administration won a bid to delay enforcement of a federal judge’s order overturning the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco today said it temporarily postponed the ruling “to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented.”

The government asked the court to take action today to postpone the ruling after the lower-court judge who issued it last month refused the administration’s emergency request yesterday to delay enforcement.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside, California, ruled Sept. 9 that the policy violates constitutionally protected due process and free speech rights.

President Barack Obama supports repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the government said in court filings. Still, terminating the rule should take place only after advance planning and training, the government said. The Defense Department’s findings on how the ban should be ended are scheduled to be completed Dec. 1.

Phillips’s order “risks causing significant immediate harm to the military and its efforts to be prepared to implement an orderly repeal of the statute,” the U.S. said in the filing with the appeals court. . . . [Full Story]
H/T ARRA News Service
Troops discharged for being gay try to re-enlist
At least three service members discharged for being gay have begun the process to re-enlist after the Pentagon directed the military to accept openly gay recruits for the first time in the nation's history.

The top-level guidance issued to recruiting commands Tuesday marked a significant change in an institution long resistant and sometimes hostile to gays. . . .  The movement to overturn the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy gained speed when President Barack Obama campaigned on its repeal. The effort stalled in Congress this fall and found new life last month when a federal judge in California declared it unconstitutional.

The recruiting announcement came even as the Justice Department battles in the courts to slow the movement to abolish the 1993 Clinton-era policy. . . .

[DOD] has said it would comply with Phillips' order and had frozen any discharge cases. Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said Tuesday recruiters had been given top-level guidance to accept applicants who say they are gay. . . .

Recruiters also have been told to inform potential recruits that the moratorium on enforcement of the policy could be reversed at any time, if the ruling is appealed or the court grants a stay, she said.  Gay rights groups were continuing to tell service members to avoid revealing that they are gay, fearing they could find themselves in trouble should the law be reinstated. . . . [Full Story]

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