DADT Injunction Still Stands, Gays Can Enlist – But Don’t Get Too Comfortable

Today we woke up to find that the fragile non-enforcement of DADT ferociously defended by judge Virginia Phillips is still in place. For now. Mostly. I don’t understand why this is even still an issue, I want to scream from my eyeballs. From The New York Times:

A federal district judge in California said Monday that she is inclined to deny the government’s request to allow the Pentagon to enforce its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay and bisexual members of the military while her injunction against it is being appealed. “My tentative ruling is to deny the application for a stay,” Judge Virginia A. Phillips said at a hearing on the government’s request, according to Reuters. She is expected to issue a ruling to that effect on Tuesday. The Obama administration has defended the law, arguing that change should come from Congress, not the courts; last week the Department of Justice gave notice that if the request for a stay was denied or not resolved by Monday at noon, it intended to appeal to the Ninth Circuit “to allow the orderly litigation of the stay request before that court.”

(@nytimes)

Even more tellingly/importantly, the Associated Press is reporting that the order has come down from high-level military officials that recruiting stations can no longer turn away applicants who are gay, which we theorize means that they foresee this injunction standing for at least the foreseeable future and thus are grudgingly abiding by it. They don’t necessarily see it standing forever, though.

…Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith has announced that “top-level” guidance has been issued to recruiting commands telling them that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibiting openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military has been suspended, at least for now.

But recruiters have also been told to tell possible LGBT recruits that the moratorium could be re-instated at any time.

(@dallasvoice)

Pretty much every reputable source is advising soldiers to stay in the closet for the time being, as this is unlikely to be the final solution to the clusterfuck that is Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and out soldiers will probably still face consequences in the future. Dan Choi, however, is holding them to their word.

If he is indeed allowed to re-enlist (and I’m not sure he will be, it’s possible that his insubordination/civil disobedience will still be enough to bar him besides his homosexuality) it will at least provide a very public way to track the reality vs. the theoretical status of DADT – that is, when Choi is eventually re-discharged, we’ll all have a barometer for the abject failure of the government to handle this situation. Because lest you forget, the government IS trying to make sure this fails. Today a lawyer with the Clinton administration (which was responsible for DADT in the first place) stated that he thinks Obama should argue against Phillips’ injunction BUT simultaneously argue to federal courts that the original DADT law in 1993 was unconstitutional.

“I would like, at the right time with the right military process being worked, to see the government actually switch its position,” said Walter Dellinger, who served as acting solicitor general under President Bill Clinton. “The president, in his capacity as commander in chief, can make his own judgment that [don’t ask] is not necessary. … He doesn’t have to give judicial deference to the political branches.”

Will the President take that advice? Only time will tell, but right now the betting money says that time will tell us “no.” There’s no way to foresee how this fight will develop, but if past performance is any indication, the people who will eventually be responsible for ending DADT will be individuals working their power to the best of their ability in defiance of the administration, and this presidency will have passed on one more opportunity to effect radical change.


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Rachel

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. A part of me wants to scream for joy and dance a big happy gay dance. But an even bigger part of me knows that this will not last long enough for me to have that dance. So for now I will remain the same way I have been the past two years, and that is living a lie. I really do hope that those gay soldiers who do not know this will not be in effect long do not come out and put their careers in jeopardy, especially the two people I work with I assume to be gay.
    I don’t understand why the people in Washington can’t just leave this alone. Let the judge’s ruling stay. What will it do for you if you go against this just to please your congress. Let us serve openly. Who are well really hurting by being open. We are hurting the military more by being dishonest about our true selves. When will this country be the “free country” I was promised as a kid? I guess I was lied to, I guess we were all lied to. “Land of the free, home of the brave”. I call bullshit.

  2. Apparently Dan Choi is too old to enlist in the Marines, so he is now looking at the Army.

    Another important detail: Although Judge Phillips has indicated that she is likely to deny the DOJ’s requested stay (thereby keeping DADT unenforceable for now), she hasn’t officially issued her ruling. Accordingly, the DOJ can’t yet appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit. They just have to sit and wait and discover all of the consequences that aren’t materializing. Way to go, Judge Philips.

  3. Seriously making me wonder what it is that I would be fighting for had I enlisted in the Navy.
    Honestly,
    why would I want to defend a country that doesn’t want to defend me, not as a queer POC, but as a citizen?

  4. THER STARTNG WARS FROM LIES, IF THERE THAT BOARD HOW ABOUT A REAL 9/11 INVESTIGATION. iN THE MILITARY THEY DO NOT GIVE YOU RUBBER GLOVES WHEN YOUR BUDY IS HOT IN WAR AND THIS GAY THINGS HAPPENS, IM GONG OFF WHAT THE cdc SAYS ABOUT THE HIGH PERCENTAGE OF AIDS PASSED AMONG GAYS AND i’M NOT GOING TO GET IT BECAUSE THE GOV DID WRONG. THEY BETTER CHANGE THE DRAFT LAW TOO BECAUSE NO CHRISTIANS AMERICAN WILL SERVE IN A INSTITUTION WHERE THE BIBLE AND NOT JUST THE BIBLE ALL REGIOUS TEXT SAY NO TO IT. ITS WRONG AND THEY KNOW ITS WORNG THATS WHY THEY ROLE PLAT SEXES LIKE A WOMEN CUTTING HER HAID AND WEARING MAEL CLOTHING THERE TRYING TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES WHAT THEY KNOW IS WRONG. IT IS AMMNETAL DISEAS AND THERE IS MANY PHYCHIATRIST SAY IT SHOULD OF STAYED ON THE DSM II AS THE METNAL ILLENESS. THEY WANT TO SERVE JUST LEAVE YOUR FETTISH AT THE DOOR, WHATS NEXT BEASTALITY BECAUSE THERE WAITING INLINE WHY NOT ITS SICK AS THE GAY THING

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