8 July 2011
by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
For all intents and purposes, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is dead. All that needs to happen now is for the three attending ‘physicians’ to declare time and date of death, and sign off on it. The Pentagon has halted all separations of lesbian and gay service personnel after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reimposed the ban on discharging individuals under DADT. The moratorium was issued Friday following the ruling this past Wednesday that the Department of Defense immediately stop enforcing the law.
The court ruled that DADT is unconstitutional because it treats lesbians and gays differently under the law than it treats straight people.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network issued the following statement with regards to this:
“SLDN welcomes this temporary suspension of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ discharges in the wake of this week’s court decision, but we urge the Pentagon to go further by suspending all investigations of service members that are currently ongoing, and confirm that the Department of Defense and Department of Justice are not preparing to appeal the court’s ruling. It’s imperative for service members, gay and straight, who have been living with ambiguity for far too long as this process has languished unnecessarily. The time for clarity and finality is long overdue.”
Meanwhile, it is expect that the end of July or the beginning of August, the formal repeal of DADT will occur thanks to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and President Barack Obama.
Still, Pentagon spokesman Marine Colonel David Lapan said that it is unclear if the Pentagon will seek to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Given the fact that it would take longer to do that then to just comply with the ruling, it may be a waste of money.
According to the Army Times:
Troops are currently undergoing training programs to clarify the law and ensure a smooth transition to its repeal. Most of that training is expected to be completed by this summer, yet there is no requirement that 100 percent of the force must be trained prior to repeal, Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said.
So far, only four individuals have been separated under DADT since last October, and only one chaplain is known to have departed the services after the repeal of DADT was announced.