Friday, October 15, 2010

Mixed Message on DADT

That didn’t take long: the Obama administration wants the court that placed an injunction on the enforcement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to put a stay on the order. (Enough double negatives for you?)

Obama’s Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips to stay her ruling that overturned the ban while the government prepares a formal appeal. Asking the judge for a response by Monday — “given the urgency and gravity of the issues” — the government said that suddenly ending the ban would be disruptive and “irreparably harm the public interest in a strong and effective military.”

Meanwhile, the Pentagon says it will comply with the judge’s order and not enforce DADT. To make things even more confusing, the president told a town hall meeting that DADT will end “on my watch,” but not via the courts because he wants a permanent solution.

So here’s where we are: the ban on openly serving as a gay soldier has been lifted — for now — but the administration that wants to end it wants the ban back in place until they can figure out a way to make its repeal permanent, which means that if you’re gay and in the military and you come out today, it’s okay, but if the stay is issued, tomorrow you’ll be discharged.