The fate of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy could be decided on in a matter of weeks. With the stakes so high, gay activists are attempting to cordon off the military legally, legislatively and politically.
And, the nation’s highest civilian and military leaders appear to be bending under the pressure.
After a series of legal challenges to the law –and to activist rulings by judges – the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in temporarily on Nov. 12, and granted a request by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to keep the ban in place – for now.
Bruce Hausknecht, CitizenLink’s judicial analyst, said despite the DOJ’s request, he’s not expecting President Obama’s attorneys to offer a strong defense.
“Assistant Attorney General Tony West’s open admission that they are vetting arguments with gay activists – so not to make any ‘offensive’ arguments – goes beyond the pale,” Hausknecht said. “This particular Justice Deparment has so tarnished its image as a non-partisan crime-fighting, Constitution-defending arm of the Executive branch…that it no longer ought to use the word ‘justice’ in its title.”
To date, Senate Republicans have successfully thwarted the legislative repeal, which is attached as an amendment to the must-pass Defense Authorization bill.
Republicans have asked leadership to wait until a Pentagon survey on the issue is released on Nov. 30.
A working group has compiled a report on how best to respond to the repeal of the 1993 law, which affirms that homosexuality is incompatible with military service, as well as its accompanying DADT policy put in place by President Clinton to circumvent the underlying law.
With the prodding of Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised to bring the spending bill – with the repeal language intact – up for a vote after Thanksgiving.
It appears that politicians aren’t the only ones susceptible to political pressure.
Despite pleas from conservative groups and Republicans – especially from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee – Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Pentagon officials are gearing up for what they deem as the inevitable.
In fact, recruiters are now accepting gay-identified applicants, and DADT dismissals ended last month – all before the DADT survey of 400,000 active duty service members has been released and assessed.
In a series of correspondence, Gates effectively said as much to McCain – it’s not whether the repeal would happen, but what military leaders should expect.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made it clear early on that he wants to repeal the controversial policy – garnering him accolades from gay activists and the coveted title of GQ magazine’s “Man of the Year.”
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz agree with Mullen. Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, however, expressed deep concerns about the “risks” – earning him a firm rebuke from Mullen.
When asked during the GQ interview what he saw as the biggest practical obstacle to the repeal, Mullen admitted that politics come first:
“What I’m most concerned about is whether or not a change like this would impact readiness or unit cohesion, retention, or recruiting. Those are the areas that we’re focused on. I just don’t know the answers yet. But, if the law changes, there’s no question we’ll follow it. Absolutely.”
“It’s a shame that our nation’s armed services are being used as a social experiment that will likely have unintended, harmful consequences and endanger the religious freedoms of chaplains and military personnel,” Hausknecht said. “In the administration’s rush to appease gay activists, it is endangering unit cohesion, recruitment and re-enlistments, not to mention offending the moral sensibilities of most Americans.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read McCain’s Letter to Gates.
[Opposition Article] Read The Washington Post article, “Why are the Marines the Military’s Biggest Backers of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?”
[Opposition Article] Read, “DOJ Official Defending DADT, DOMA Difficult for Administration.”
Read “Ruling Against ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ May Not Face Obama Appeal,” by National Law Journal.
Read Sprigg’s opinion piece, “Do Senators Understand Truth Behind Homosexuals; Military Service?”
Watch ADF’s Video, “Faith Under Fire: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and Religious Freedom.”