Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Possible Announcement On DADT Stop-Loss This Week (video)

Rumors have been flying all over the queer-o-sphere tonight about a possible announcement by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates regarding changes in Don't Ask, Don't Tell that would make it harder to dismiss queer service men and women. The new guidelines would require stricter scrutiny, less reliance on hearsay and greater involvement of higher-ups in the chain of command.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the new plan, expected to be announced on Thursday, "is considered a stopgap measure by the Obama administration until Congress decides whether to repeal the 1993 law, which bans openly gay service. Under the new guidelines, firings of enlisted personnel who violate the ban must be approved by officers who hold a rank equivalent to a one-star general or above. Testimony provided by third parties also should be given under oath, the plan says."

Anonymous sources told the AP that this last part is intended to weed out flimsy accusations by third parties who may hold a grudge against the accused. Secretary Gates says he is looking for a way to carry out the current policy "more humanely."

We all appreciate any progress in the repeal of this unjust, wrong-headed policy that will be a big smelly stain on the legacy of Bill Clinton for posterity, but there is no humane way to fire somebody for something that has no bearing on their ability to do their job. There is no humane way to tell Lt. Dan Choi that even though his record of service is impeccable and his Arabic linguistic skills are critically needed while this country is actively engaged in two wars in Arabic-speaking countries, that he is no longer qualified to serve just because he likes dick.

As Aubrey Sarvis, executive director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund told the AP in more polite terms, "At the end of the day, service members would still be leaving the services under 'don't ask, don't tell' every day, so what we need is repeal."

As usual, Rachel Maddow is on top of this developing story.

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