Gay rejection stay in place

As expected, a federal appeals court has issued a stay in regards to DADT.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday temporarily granted the U.S. government’s request for a freeze on a judge’s order requiring the military to allow openly gay troops.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals instructed lawyers for the gay rights group that brought the lawsuit successfully challenging the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to file arguments in response by Monday.

This isn’t the worst setback in the world. It’s merely a matter of time before equality is granted to all U.S. citizens wishing to serve in the military. We’ll be a safer nation for it.

U.S. military: Open to gays

Finally.

The military is accepting openly gay recruits for the first time in the nation’s history, even as it tries in the courts to slow the movement to abolish its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

At least two service members discharged for being gay began the process to re-enlist after the Pentagon’s Tuesday announcement.

Unfortunately, there still exists the possibility of this policy changing (though probably only temporarily), so many civil rights groups for gays are advising that people don’t come out of the closet just yet. It takes time to tear down blind bigotry.

Immediate don’t ask, don’t tell injunction

The courts have traditionally been the place where the immorality of bigoted Americans has gone to die. Today is no different.

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday immediately stopping enforcement of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, suspending the 17-year-old ban on openly gay U.S. troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ landmark ruling also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations under the policy.

The Obama Administration is under no obligation to challenge this. It’s unclear what this administration will do, especially this close to midterm elections, but I feel decent about the right decision being made. A challenge to this ruling would be a slap in the face to all the gay people who serve the United States in uniform, not to mention a weakening of our military. There’s no rational justification in DADT and it needs to stop.

Judge orders military to reinstate gay soldier

There are a number of nations whose military allows gay soldiers to serve openly with straight soldiers. The obvious reason is that being gay does not make someone a sex-crazed rapist whose only interest is to cause irreparable moral harm to other people by giving them gay. Recent polls show an overwhelming majority of Americans realize this. In fact, the U.S. military largely realizes this, dismissing fewer gay soldiers per year than they did prior to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars; they may as well be saying, ‘Okay, there’s a lot of hatred for gays out there and, really, that’s our motivation, but when it comes down to it, we need good service members.’

Fortunately, in addition to the other recent positive rulings, a judge has declared the military must reinstate a lesbian soldier it dismissed under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’. He cites the lack of constitutionality of the law due to its uselessness.

“The application of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ to Major Margaret Witt does not significantly further the government’s interest in promoting military readiness, unit morale and cohesion,” he wrote.

If it did any of these things, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ would have some validity within its scope. Unfortunately for all the bigots out there, judges are increasingly recognizing that sexual orientation is irrelevant to the effectiveness of military members.

But I think it’s worth pointing out that calling ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ a failure would be a mistake. The law was a compromise that marked a major step in terms of equal rights for gays. This is in a similar vein to when Jefferson put an end to the slave trade in 1808. That point was pivotal in the effort to end slavery, but it was also virtually all that could be done politically. Learning from his earlier days in Virginia politics, he knew any effort to end slavery was premature in his lifetime, lest he lose all political capital and ability to govern in any other area. A similar tale can be told of Clinton. Outright ending the unjustified discrimination against gays in the military was virtually impossible at the time (and it’s still proving to be difficult). But by getting the best deal he could for gay service members, Clinton made the first big step in ending the discrimination they face in the military. The fortunate difference here is that it won’t take us 57 years to reach Clinton’s goal.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ unconstitutional

It isn’t even a surprise when these rulings happen. Of course bigotry is unconstitutional.

A federal judge on Thursday declared the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional and said she will issue an order to stop the government from enforcing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said the ban violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gays and lesbians. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or are discovered engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their own homes off base.

In her ruling, Phillips said the policy doesn’t help military readiness and instead has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.

Don’t ask, get told on

A gay soldier in Kansas has been given the boot because she got legally married in Iowa.

Jene Newsome played by the rules as an Air Force sergeant: She never told anyone in the military she was a lesbian. The 28-year-old’s honorable discharge under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy came only after police officers in Rapid City, S.D., saw an Iowa marriage certificate in her home and told the nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base.

The Bigot Brigade PD basically ratted Newsome out because she wouldn’t cooperate with helping them find her spouse on an outstanding warrant. The BBPD claims they were running a proper investigation, but that’s an incredibly thin lie. They had no business reporting anything to the military. They knew exactly what they were doing.

Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome’s home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said in a statement sent to the AP. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said.

“It’s an emotional issue and it’s unfortunate that Newsome lost her job, but I disagree with the notion that our department might be expected to ignore the license, or not document the license, or withhold it from the Air Force once we did know about it,” Allender said Saturday. “It was a part of the case, part of the report and the Air Force was privileged to the information.”

Steve Allender (adminInt3@rcgov.org) is a liar. The marital status of a third party in their investigation is irrelevant. It doesn’t take some half-ass cop out in the boonies to see that.

“This information was intentionally turned over because of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and to out Jene so that she would lose her military status,” said Robert Doody, executive director of ACLU South Dakota. The ACLU is focusing its complaint on the police department, not the military, and Newsome said she and her attorney have not yet decided on whether to file a lawsuit.

“The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ piece is important and critical to this, but also it’s a police misconduct case,” Doody said.

The BBPD has no idea what is appropriate action. It’s a department full of petty and vengeance to the citizen who crosses them, evidently. They should have had no expectation that a third party would help them with their investigation – but they did. They precisely expected Newsome to cow-tow to their demands to make their jobs easier. When she didn’t, they sought to ruin her career.

Of course, what would be an obvious case of bigotry without the overt bigotry?

Despite claiming that she had played by the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” rules, she got married to her lesbian lover in Iowa after an activist state supreme court said she could.

Well, that was tell number one. A marriage license, Ms. Newsome, is a public record. If you want to keep your sexual preference hidden from your superiors, it’s best not to advertise it to the whole world.

This is from some dying dinosaur named Bryan Fischer. Apparently Fischer thinks gays want to keep who they are private. No, no, really. People just love faking it.

Second, when the police came to her home seeking to execute an arrest warrant on her lesbian “wife” (“husband?” — it’s hard to know these days), they found the wedding license lying right in the middle of the dining room table. If you want to keep your sexual preference a secret, there are better ways.

For instance, one could hide a marriage license behind a smarmy aura of asshole. To date, no one has been able to confirm Fischer’s marital status.

Rapid City, S.D. law enforcement officials saw the wedding license and did their legal duty by reporting what they had found to the military.

What law is that again?

Ms. Newsome received an “honorable discharge” in January. (This is not your father’s military: she committed what is a crime under the UCMJ, and has the word “honorable” on her discharge papers. Go figure.)

There must be a mistake on Fischer’s website. It says he’s from Idaho, not Uganda.

Newsome’s partner in sexual deviancy is apparently not a model citizen, currently being under indictment for one felony and three misdemeanor counts of theft. That’s another tip for Ms. Newsome — if you don’t want get outed, it might be best not to “marry” somebody who robs people.

Do donation baskets count as robbery since they purport to be used for good causes but instead continue to support religion?

Gates’ theory — you get to break the law as long as you don’t rat yourself out — is absurd. Imagine if we applied that to any other realm of law enforcement. You, sir, get to go right on holding up banks because all we have to go on is ironclad eyewitness testimony from tellers, managers and other bank patrons. Please, please, pretty please admit you did it so we can lock you up. Otherwise, we will be forced to let you go so you can rob and pillage some more.

Idaho simply must be a mistake.