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Gay enlistees and troops: don't come out just yet

As much as I am thrilled to see gay men and lesbians who want to serve their country going to recruiting stations to enlist, I urge them to wait. The on-again-off-again stay of the injunction on enforcement of don't ask don't tell shows how tenuous the situation is. The ban on them serving openly in the military is on again as of last night. Until Congress repeals this shameful law or the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional (good luck on that score), those servicemembers are putting themselves at risk.

After Lt. Dan Choi reenlisted at the Times Square recruiting station, he encouraged others to follow his example. His call to service and the euphoria over what's happening are understandable. But the ruling last month that the military's gay ban is unconstitutional from federal District Court Judge Virginia Phillips is not the end of the process of ridding the nation of this discriminatory policy.

The Justice Department appealed not only the injunction but also the overall ruling to the Ninth Circuit. Now that the court has issued a temporary stay of Judge Phillips's injunction don't ask don't tell is once again the law of the land -- unless and until it decides to grant a permanent stay. Ultimately, its constitutionality won't be settled until the Supreme Court makes a ruling. But, hey, the Supremes might not even need to get involved if the Senate votes to repeal the ban in a lame duck session after the midterm elections. Still, it would be a while before don't ask don't tell is history.

First, the Pentagon Working Group's report on how to transition to the post-don't ask don't tell military is due Dec. 1. Then, President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, must certify that recruitment, retention and readiness won't be harmed and that the necessary policies and regulations are prepared and ready to implement. That certification goes to the House and Senate Armed Services committees. The full repeal of don't ask don't tell would be effective 60 days after that date. We're talking early to mid-2011 realistically.

Throughout all this, especially the last few months, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has dutifully warned troops to "NOT come out." The same warning should be heeded by those brave souls showing up at recruiting stations now that the Pentagon has told recruiters that it's okay to enlist someone who openly declares being gay. The freedom to serve one's country openly and honestly is not upon us just yet -- but it's almost here.

By Jonathan Capehart  | October 21, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

The military has a dreadful heritage of males in command of female troops taking sexual advantage of them despite regulations which prohibit such. I have never seen convincing proof that homosexuals are more moral than heterosexuals, and therefore must conclude homosexual leaders will behave that way toward heterosexual subordinates.One can have sympathy for homosexuals who want to serve (and do now, in the closet), but does that trump the safety of heterosexuals in the armed forces?

Posted by: potaboc | October 21, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Come on, Jonathan - where's the sense of euphoria? You have already declared that Obama's decision to appeal the injunction against enforcement of "this shameful law" is "the right thing to do". Well, your man just got a big victory thanks to the Ninth Circuit Court. Isn't it time to pop the champaign?

Now we can all take the lead from Obama and just passively sit back and wait for enlightenment to rain down over a lame-duck Senate. After all, it's a bedrock article of faith among Obama and his ardent admirers that the Blue Dogs and establishment Republicans will be chomping at the bit to reverse their positions from last month and abolish DADT before a new Tea Party Senate gets a chance to do it themselves and take all the credit.

So why aren't you congratulating Obama and showing some gratitude to the Ninth Circuit for the big favor they just did on behalf of equality for all LGBT Americans?

Posted by: JPJones1 | October 21, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't suppose it has occured to you that the Obama administration's robotic determination to hang on to this law is alienating a core Democratic constituency, which is likely to respond by staying sitting out election day.

Posted by: makh55 | October 21, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't suppose it has occured to you that the Obama administration's robotic determination to hang on to this law is alienating a core Democratic constituency, which is likely to respond by sitting out election day. The timing is a disaster.

Posted by: makh55 | October 21, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Although concerned over the DOJ seeking an appeal, and getting the stay, my bigger concern is from such comments as Potaboc. His/her logic is: Since straights have abused their authority, in whatever small cases, then gays must not be permitted the chance. This logic seems to want to punish without evidence, which would also be unconstitutional.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual troops are already serving, and some already in the change of command, what they lack is their constitutional rights. Yes, the military has rules and regs but even under them no one can sign their constitutional rights away, or agree that they can not exercise them.

To serve openly merely means that the troops that are glb can speak about their lives without fear of their jobs. No flaming outfits, no outragious behavior, as these are already covered by rules/laws/regs.

Posted by: RevJDSpears | October 21, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Let's face reality. Leaders are supposed to lead. These so called military leaders are not leading on honorable service by GLBT Americans. Every other modern military changed their ruling without years of fanfare. Please start leading and stop contributing to the hysteria.

Posted by: nolamen | October 21, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Let's face reality. Leaders are supposed to lead. These so called military leaders are not leading on honorable service by GLBT Americans. Every other modern military changed their rules without years of fanfare. Please start leading and stop contributing to the hysteria.

Posted by: nolamen | October 21, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Obama probably calculated that it would be better if a small percentage of the 1.5% with psychosexual problems sat out the November election rather than to not appeal the goddess-complexed federal judge's usurpation of the Constitution and bring out millions of traditionalists to vote for Republicans and Tea Party types in retaliation.

All the media swooning 24/7 over gay "rights" has given too many the impression that all the world is theirs to hold and that the legislatures, the courts, and the citizenry will give their stamp of approval to advocates of particular sex acts, ordaining victory for the abnormal and the defeat of nature, tradition, and common sense.

Crash, burn.

Posted by: Lazarus40 | October 21, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Allowing a federal or state judge to single-handedly rewrite military policy or the UCMJ is a path to disaster.

I think DADT whould be done away with, it is an anachronism. Likewise, I believe that all domestic partners/spouses, whether homosexual or heterosexual - should be treated uniformly by laws and government.

That said, the courts are not the right way to make these societal changes. Only legislative action by elected representatives can provide long-term stability to the changes. In the case at hand, the 9th circuit should have overturned the lower court decision because the judge had no legal standing to issue such a sweeping order.

Posted by: pilsener | October 21, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Allowing a federal or state judge to single-handedly rewrite military policy or the UCMJ is a path to disaster.

I think DADT whould be done away with, it is an anachronism. Likewise, I believe that all domestic partners/spouses, whether homosexual or heterosexual - should be treated uniformly by laws and government.

That said, the courts are not the right way to make these societal changes. Only legislative action by elected representatives can provide long-term stability to the changes. In the case at hand, the 9th circuit should have overturned the lower court decision because the judge had no legal standing to issue such a sweeping order.

Posted by: pilsener | October 21, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

All of these "intellectual" comments-always avoid the destructive and perverse life styles of homosexuals! From where does one get a "sexual orientation"? no study can prove this!
Why do we not discuss the AIDS and diseases, the hundreds of partners, the intimate partner violence,mental problems, and substance abuse of gays?
Tell the truth!

Posted by: lyn3 | October 21, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama probably calculated that it would be better if a small percentage of the 1.5% with psychosexual problems sat out the November election rather than to not appeal the goddess-complexed federal judge's usurpation of the Constitution and bring out millions of traditionalists to vote for Republicans and Tea Party types in retaliation.

All the media swooning 24/7 over gay "rights" has given too many the impression that all the world is theirs to hold and that the legislatures, the courts, and the citizenry will give their stamp of approval to advocates of particular sex acts, ordaining victory for the abnormal and the defeat of nature, tradition, and common sense.

Crash, burn.

Posted by: Lazarus40
--------------

When 70% of the population want the ban overturned, your comments just show you as a plain and simple bigot. I'd prefer we "crush and burn" bigots such as yourself.

Posted by: B-rod | October 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Lt. Choi is well known and respected by everyone. He's a West Point graduate and demonstrates great leadership skills and was popular with those under his command. He's not the problem. The problem is how things will play out with the worst, most inconsiderate, most offensive gays and lesbians.

It's wrong to force a person at work to appear naked in front of anyone who could develop a sexual or romantic interest in him or her. That's what the court said when women sued to have their own locker rooms at factories long ago.

Sex-segragation is all about privacy. Everyone has privacy rights. We can assure them most efficiently and economically by bunking people together who have no potential for sexual or romantic interest in one another.

We don't require that a woman say or believe that all men are rapists in order for her to assert a privacy right from all men. Why do we call men bigots and homophobes when they assert a privacy right from all gays? Fair is fairness for all.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 21, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

'don't come out yet'....good advice. This may be well received among Post and Times journalists but it's not going to play well in the barracks.

Posted by: twann9852 | October 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

My question is: Why would anyone wish to serve in the military of a country that does not value their rights? I will make every effort to discourage government service of any kind. Our citizens do not value the service and have broken or are trying to break every commitment they have made to those that did serve.

Posted by: fare777 | October 21, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Once we were a devout, God-fearing, Christian nation, one that welcomed strangers to our shores; so long as they embraced our national heritage and flag, our language, and our Judeo-Christian culture and laws. A uni-culture: one nation, under God, was the formula for our success.

Today, our nation's leaders use laws forced upon us in opposition to the word of God, and of our Constitution; to steal our nation's wealth. They are robbing future generations of their birth-right, their heritage, and the Liberty guaranteed to us by a Holy God. They advocate and promote the killing of unborn children in opposition to the Commandments of God, and have embarked on a well thought-through plan to destroy our nation's moral, spiritual, economic, and military strength. They forget God's punishment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-25), and actually attempt to normalize and encourage that behavior in our schools, to government employees, and within our military ranks. This government promises a positive "hope" and "change", but instead they "steal, kill, and destroy"!

The words of our Savior, Jesus Christ, will always overcome and outlast the words of Barry Soetoro.

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep." (John 10:10-11)

Most of America, that part of us that is still obedient to the Laws of God, believes the only source of America's strength and many blessings was and is Jesus Christ (John 15:4-5)! When we forget that one simple truth, and try to rebuild or restore America on our own, without Him; we WILL NOT succeed!

When we stop obeying the Word of God, stop willingly getting down on our knees, and stop wanting to give the glory to Almighty God that He deserves; God will allow repeated failures, catastrophes, and oppression to drive us back to Him on our knees, instead (Deuteronomy 28:1-68).

We pray that God will call more Americans away from their sins, such as homosexuality, and enlighten those who promote (to their shame), this lifestyle on the public forum.

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

May the same God who called those in Nineveh to repent of their sins so long ago, be equally successful with the gay and lesbian of today.


"

Posted by: OneNationUnderGodUSA | October 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose it has occured to you that the Obama administration's robotic determination to hang on to this law is alienating a core Democratic constituency, which is likely to respond by staying sitting out election day.
----------------------------------------

How did Clinton do after promising then passing DADT/DOMA?

Thanks Obama, now I can ignroe these elections guilt-free.

Yet anohter "Vote for me, I'll back you - thanks for votign for m, FU!"

And Capeheart-the_Brave tells homos to be patient. I am sure that helped in the 1950's - were blacks patient too - or did they march and protest and seek redress in the courts for recognition of their civil equality?

I got mine: FU! Thanks Mr. Capeheart.

Posted by: Greent | October 21, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Your point about practical reality versus ideal world is well taken. Gay military men and women exist and will likely exist in no greater or lesser numbers if they freely admit to being homosexuals. That such are tolerated in the military is without question true; whether it is time to openly state reality is highly questionable, especially given the presence of troops in lands where the judiciary believes homosexuals should be stoned to death.

This reminds me. The rent is too damn high.

Posted by: Martial | October 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

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