Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Courts Have Already Derailed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

As I have previously written, while I feel that the primary argument for lifting the ban on allowing gays to openly serve in the military is the global model (essentially, all of our Western allies allow it, without incident), there is also a legal precedent.

While it has gotten very little mention in the press, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-year old ruling, has already redefined the flawed policy, putting the onus on the government to prove their theory on the alleged destruction of unit cohesion.

From an AP story posted on Saturday:

The 2008 ruling, while largely overlooked, would force the military to apply a much higher threshold in determining whether a service member should be dismissed for being gay.
The government declined to appeal the ruling by the three-judge panel, which leaves it standing as law in the nine states covered by the court. That means gay military members at bases in the West technically have greater protections than their colleagues across the world.
......At issue is a ruling in the case of an Air Force major from Washington state (U.S. Air Force Reservist Maj. Margaret Witt, pictured above) who was dismissed from the military after she was found to have been in a lesbian relationship.
The court ruled that for a gay service member's discharge to be constitutional, the military must demonstrate that the firing promotes cohesion or discipline in the unit.
Considering that, in the military of our allies, allowing gays to serve openly has been a non-factor, this ruling forces the government to prove the lie that they have been pushing for over 15 years.

And they can't.

To get a clearer picture of the impact on this ruling, and how it is now effecting decisions currently being made, regarding DADT, click here.

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