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For some reason I no longer adequately recall, I am on the ACLU’s mailing list. Although I broadly agree with their political views, they tend to push the boundaries of judicial activism with their lawsuits, so I find them a bit off putting. In any case, here is their position on the legislative repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Since no theories of state were harmed in the making of this statement, I can thoroughly endorse it.

Following the recent votes by the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee to allow for a repeal of the discriminatory and counterproductive policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) you may be asking yourself, “Where do we go from here?”

The next showdown over the issue is likely to take place on the floor of the Senate, where opponents of repeal have vowed to try and strip the repeal language currently contained in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from the legislation—or offer a “poison pill” amendment to make it difficult or impossible to actually move forward with a policy of open service for those who are gay, lesbian and bisexual.

It’s important to repeal DADT for at least three reasons. First, we need to get rid of it because of the damage it does to so many decent Americans who volunteer to serve. Since DADT went into effect, more than 13,500 openly gay individuals have been kicked out of the military.

Second, we need to get rid of DADT because it is a blot on the Constitution. In the Congress that passed it, the single justification for DADT was not that gay members of the Armed Forces couldn’t do their jobs. It was rather that heterosexual service members would be so unnerved by the mere presence of gay people that they would be unable to perform their duties. As long as DADT endures, the idea that your rights can’t be taken away just because someone else doesn’t like you is hardly secure.

Third, our work to build real equality in the law and in the hearts of Americans won’t succeed as long as the federal government has a law on its books that says discrimination is ok, at least some of the time. Laws like that are a profound statement that a group doesn’t deserve equality.

Although we have had some amazing successes in recent weeks, critical votes remain on the horizon and challenging obstacles will need to be overcome before we see the repeal of DADT and open service for gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.

With final exams creeping up on me, like an axe murder behind an innocent child, I’ve not been following the news much. My sole source of news is the Colbert Report. And being educated by a Frenchman is close to being not educated at all.

I’ve no idea where the DADT repeal process is at. Apparently Perry v Schwazenneger is close to being handed down. And apparently the Massachusetts AG is challenging the constitutionality of DADT in the SCOTUS – though not on equal protection grounds. But I have no details on either.

If you would like to inform me of what has been happening in the wider world, let me remind you that this blog has a comments section.

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2 Comments

  1. Things happening in the outside world: Fed Con Assignment tomorrow! Me: FML. Also, 35,000-60,000 barrels of oil are gushing into the oceans. BP CEO: FML.

  2. No, silly. The BP CEO doesn’t have a life. Haven’t you heard? He wants it back now.


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