Gay Place

To ask or not to ask? To tell or not to tell? Who knows?

UNFRIENDLY FIRE This last week, the Department of Justice pursued an emergency stay to the ban on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. After Congress repealed the policy in the lame-duck session last year, the final confirmation of the process was set to come up late this summer. For those of us who've defended the president's part in this byzantine maze of back-and-forth repeal vs. repealing the repeal, our sentiments are beginning to burn like ash in our throats. Seriously, WTF? If this Justice Department posturing is, as David Dayen of Firedoglake posited, "a case about separation of powers and timing more than anything," the political strategists looking out for Obama's chances for re-election are neglecting to factor in the collateral damage of servicepeople stuck in the limbo of this mess. Anyone serving in the military not already living outside the closet is faced with a cruel and unnecessary quandary: Bet on progress or failure; bet on openheartedness or the letter of a draconian law. And for anyone on the Obama team dismissing this latest gesture by the DOJ as just another legal maneuver to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s of the final repeal, that rationalization is more stale and parched than a Desert Storm MRE. The threat of an outing is very real for anyone who perceives it to be. That's how terrorism works: implied threats. A very disingenuous way to look out for your constituency, not to mention the people being asked to die to afford you the luxury of political meandering (and pandering?).

PARADING AROUND LIKE THEY OWN THE PLACE In much more courageous news, an estimated 350 active service members participated in San Diego's Gay Pride fest this past weekend by marching proudly in their annual Pride parade to deafening cheers. Fuck DADT. For more information on the struggle against DADT, see the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (www.sldn.org) and Servicemembers United (www.servicemembers.org).

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin LGBT, DADT, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, SLDN, Obama, gay, DOJ, Justice Department, Don't Ask, Don't Tell

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