Help end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Congress should end ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ now
from The Des Moines Register
The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy Congress imposed on the military in 1993 has not worked for either the military or for gays and lesbians in uniform. And, according to a federal judge, the law is unconstitutional to boot. Congress should repeal it and save the courts the trouble of wrestling with inevitable appeals.

Read the full editorial from The Des Moines Register.

‘Don’t ask’ repeal faces hurdles
from Politico
Gay-rights activists are hailing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to bring legislation to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to the Senate floor next week.

But advocates and congressional aides are cautioning that the measure still faces daunting obstacles before the policy can be repealed — some of which have nothing to do with the gays-in-the-military issue.

Republicans are threatening to filibuster the defense authorization bill that contains the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal. The bill could be waylaid by amendments, a conference committee, the congressional calendar or the midterm elections.

Read more from Politico.com.

Judge halts ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy
from the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald
A federal judge on Thursday declared the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional and said she will issue an order to stop the government from enforcing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said the ban violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of gays and lesbians. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or are discovered engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their own homes off base.

In her ruling, Phillips said the policy doesn’t help military readiness and instead has a “direct and deleterious effect.”

Read the full story from the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.