Friday, April 1, 2016

For anyone who doesn't think the Log Cabin Republicans ended DADT

I got caught up in a  Facebook discussion with a fervent neoliberal about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Since this subject may come up again, here's an edited version of what I noted:

From Log Cabin Republicans v. United States:
On September 9, 2010, Phillips ruled that the ban is unconstitutional. On October 12, Phillips issued an injunction banning the military from enforcing the policy. She subsequently denied the government's request for a stay of the injunction, and the government then took their request to the Ninth Circuit, which granted a stay. On November 12, the United States Supreme Court denied an application by the Log Cabin Republicans to vacate the stay. The Ninth Circuit vacated the stay on July 6, 2011, and ordered an end to enforcement of DADT. On September 29, 2011, the Ninth Circuit issued a per curiam opinion that the legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" had rendered the case moot.
The legislative repeal happened because the Log Cabin Republicans kept fighting and winning. The government knew it had lost. For more on the legislative repeal, you only have to go to Don't ask, don't tell :
Legislation to repeal DADT was enacted in December 2010, specifying that the policy would remain in place until the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified that repeal would not harm military readiness, followed by a 60-day waiting period. A July 6, 2011, ruling from a federal appeals court barred further enforcement of the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members. President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen sent that certification to Congress on July 22, 2011, which set the end of DADT to September 20, 2011.
Interesting factoid:
On October 19, 2010, military recruiters were told they could accept openly gay applicants. On October 20, 2010, Lt. Daniel Choi, an openly gay man honorably discharged under DADT, re-enlisted in the U.S. Army.
The legislation formally ending DADT happened after the Log Cabin Republicans won their case and it was clear they would continue to win. It happened after Choi re-enlisted. Nearly two months later, in mid-December of 2010, the legislature acknowledged that DADT could not continue with the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.

The argument that Congress deserves credit for ending DADT is like claiming wars are won by the losers who acknowledge defeat. This fact is undeniable: the Log Cabin Republicans defeated DADT, and the government acknowledged it had been defeated.

And, frankly, many people in the government were glad DADT had been defeated. It was an embarrassment to the US for as long as it existed. Bill Clinton had campaigned on ending gay discrimination in the military, but once elected, he lacked the courage to do what Truman had done by ending a military double-standard with an executive order (see Executive Order 9981).