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Defense Department Announces Interim 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Revisions

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is holding a press conference today to announce revisions to the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. These revisions are a stopgap measure while the Pentagon continues a study on the repeal of the ban on openly gay service members, which can only be accomplished by Congressional action.

The new rules will require that a high-ranking officer -- a General or Admiral -- must be involved in initiating any action against a soldier suspected of violating the ban, and will increase the evidentiary burden in those cases.

On Tuesday, the Center for American Progress issued a report arguing that a full repeal should not be all that hard to accomplish. Of course, there are still military higher-ups who apparently believe that allowing openly gay soldiers might result in large-scale genocide. So speeding up the process might not be feasible.

It's been almost two years since the 9th Circuit's decision in Witt v. Department of the Air Force, where the panel held that DADT dismissals were subject to intermediate scrutiny. Gay rights advocates are of the opinion that the decision has had little to no effect on the standards actually applied by the military.

Posted by Eric Lipman on March 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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