Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LGBT Service Members React to Judge's Order to End DADT

On September 9 Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled in the case Log Cabin Republicans vs. The Unites States of America that Don''t Ask, Don't Tell is unconstitutional because it violates service members right to free speech. On Tuesday, Judge Phillips followed up her ruling in California's 9th District Court with an injunction, ordering the U.S. military to immediately "suspend and discontinue" investigations and dismissals under the 17 year old policy.

The New York Times blog At War has published reactions to the court ruling from gay and lesbian service members. This one comes anonymously from one of the leaders of OutServe, The Underground of Actively Serving LGBT Servicemembers:
Within minutes of the injunction, military members started to ask the question, “What does this mean for me? Can I come out?” I personally saw at least one Facebook status update from an active-duty gay member stating they had the intention to come out to coworkers tomorrow. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing off the hook from gay military members asking exactly what this means.

Military members are busy and do not pay attention to the daily news about ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’. All we see is a header on the NY Times Web site saying that DADT enforcement is suspended.

For the past few months all we have seen are court cases ruling in our favor, a confusing piece of legislation being debated, and our Commander-in-Chief saying that he believed this policy is wrong and should end. I have been in staff meetings where arguments have arisen over whether or not ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was actually a law anymore.

Today this decision is clear, the policy is dead as of right now. We are in desperate need of leadership.

The Defense Department is expected to appeal the court's decision and has six months do to so.

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