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.
“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.