Pentagon Releases Revised DADT Guidance

Jim Burroway

October 21st, 2010

Chris Geidner reports that, in reaction to yesterday’s temporary stay by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Department of Defense has issued revised guidelines on the policy’s enforcement:

Until further notice, pursuant to a memorandum from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a follow-up memorandum from Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley, no service member can be discharged under DADT without the ”personal approval of the secretary of the military department concerned, and only in coordination with me and the General Counsel of the Department of Defense.”

The Court of Appeals will decide sometime after October 25 whether to make their stay permanent for the duration of the appeals process. A senior DoD defense lawyer, noting the temporary nature of the stay, concedes that “We are clearly in a legally uncertain territory.”

It is unclear how this new memorandum will affect recent enlistments of LGBT people into the military.

Ben in Oakland

October 21st, 2010

If it needs to be cleared at the highest levels, and if these soldiers are around for a while, will not that invalidate all of their reasons for keeping DADT alive?

John in the Bay Area

October 22nd, 2010

Unfortunately, this memo says nothing about rigorously enforcing the Don’t Ask and the Don’t Pursue portions of the law. To my knowledge, nobody has been disciplined for asking a servicemember if they are gay or pursuing an investigation of a servicemember who did not admit to being gay in the first place.

If those sections of the law were seriously enforced, with consequences for those who violated the law, there would have been a lot fewer discharges over the last 17 years. In fact, people would have been reluctant to pursue the question of whether someone was gay for fear of losing their own job in the process.

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