Lt. Dan Choi Reenlists as DADT Stay is Denied

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Phew! Yesterday was quite a day for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal advocates.

First off, U.S. Federal Judge Virginia A. Phillips, denied the Obama DOJ’s request for an emergency stay of her ruling against any further enforcement of the ban on openly gay and lesbian Americans serving in the military.

Judge Phillips indicated on Monday during court hearing that she would reject the government’s effort to keep the policy in place as it appeals their case in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America, and wrote in her Tuesday order that the Justice Department’s arguments in favor of a stay were “unpersuasive” and short on specifics of immediate harm.

This was followed by the exciting news Lt. Dan Choi, the Iraq war veteran, Arab linguist, and West Point grad, who was discharged by the U.S. Army in July under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” was headed to New York City to apply for reentry into the U.S. Marine Corps — the very same day a Pentagon spokesperson said that military recruiters have been informed they must accept gay and lesbian applicants.

Choi tweeted Tuesday he is “Headed to Times Square Recruiting Station” and told The Advocate he expects to meet gay rights advocate David Mixner at the recruiting office as well as Justin Elzie, who was honorably discharged under DADT in 1997.

Choi said:

“As we say in the military, this is a target of opportunity. It’s an opportunity for me to serve in whatever capacity that I can. And I’m going to go try to do that.”

Choi later tweeted he was told that he was too old to join the U.S. Marines, so he filled out an application for the U.S. Army which was accepted.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said the Defense Department has suspended enforcement of DADT. Military recruiters have been advised to inform potential recruits that the moratorium against DADT could be permanently lifted.

This entry was posted in Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gay and Lesbian, LGBT Rights, Military, News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Lt. Dan Choi Reenlists as DADT Stay is Denied

  1. feminazi says:

    Lt. Dan Choi is a gifted and highly skilled man, and his talents are needed in the Army. To think this country kicked him out of the service because he’s gay is too much for me to comprehend. Mr. Choi is very brave and salute him and his commitment to serve the US.

  2. Joe in Colorado says:

    I’m confused. If the ban requires the US Congress to pass repeal legislation followed by the president’s signature, is DADT actually dead or in a legal limbo until lawmakers act on it? Just one more reason why the ban should’ve been at the top of the president’s “to do” list in his first hundred days in office. Instead, he was busy accepting awards and getting his picture taken for Time Magazine.

  3. Jolly Roger says:

    If this is a Constitutional issue (and I firmly believe that it is,) then DADT cannot be enforced if it violates the Constitution (as it most certainly does.)

    Now, let’s work on all those hateful state laws that are also flying in the face of the 14th Amendment.

  4. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is quickly going the way of the Ford Pinto and sane Republicans.

    Douglas Smith, a spokesman for U.S. Army Recruiting Command based at Fort Knox, KY said even before the ruling, recruiters did not ask applicants about their sexual orientation.

    The difference now is recruiters will process those who say they are gay or lesbian. Cool, huh?

  5. Marcus Ybanez says:

    What do all these changes mean for a surviving spouse of a gay or lesbian soldier who is killed in the line of duty? Will the surviving spouse have access to their partner’s military benefits as a straight spouse would? I think these issues need to be addressed in order to make the changes in policy just and meaningful.

  6. Bungy says:

    C’mon, Obama Administration, this is the chance to play hardball with Congress. Show some spine!

    For once.

    Kudos to Lt. Choi for being such an open and visible figure head for challenging DADT. He is skilled in so many ways!

  7. Marcus Ybanez,

    You raise a very important question: What about the surviving spouses of gay and lesbian soldiers who lose their lives in service to this country?

    I don’t have an answer and it’s a topic I need to spend time researching.

    Military survivor benefits must be the same for both straight and gay enlistees or repealing the ban is a sham.

  8. Brigadoon says:

    I hope one day Dan Choi becomes the president of the Human Rights Campaign. He’s a natural leader, smart and able to rally support and unlike Joe Solmonese, he isn’t a silly, vapid fashionista. All the best, Mr. Choi! You’re an inspiration to all Americans!

  9. Woodcliffe says:

    Marcus and Christopher – I agree.

    Gay partners can’t be thrown under the Pentagon’s bus in the event of death. This remains an unanswered question.

  10. R.J. says:

    That is a great question, Marcus. I wish I knew the answer myself.

    I’m glad Dan Choi will get a chance to do what he loves once again. We need more leaders like him.

  11. joost says:

    I’m so sick and tired of politics and politicians like our president who hang back in the shadows when they have a clear opportunity to distinguish themselves from the bad guys. Case in point, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s true the Executive Branch can’t unilaterally repeal the ban on gay Americans serving openly, Mr. Obama could issue an Executive Order suspending the policy until the congress deals with it. I will not be giving money to the Obama/Biden 2012 campaign. I’m not a fool and I refuse to be taken for granted again.

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