I'm not a fan of this legislative "repeal" of the military's gay ban, because the new law is just discriminatory bullshit, repackaged.
Despite President Obama's pious speechifying that the military's gay ban is unjust, he meanwhile chooses to dispatch government lawyers to argue in court in favor of retaining the ban, and when they lose, he has them argue that “immediate harm” and “irreparable injury” to the military would ensue if they can't keep kicking out teh gheys. Despite the fact that the government lost their case in Log Cabin Republicans v United States utterly, the Ninth Circuit assumed the government's position anyway and granted their emergency stay (and this decision was essentially ratified by SCOTUS).
Meanwhile, for the eight days there was no gay ban in place while they haggled over the injunction, there were no problems with gays in the military. None. Now the "study" the administration commissioned regarding integration in the military has been released, and it (like all the other studies over the years) concludes that neither the gay ban nor closeted service is necessary for the armed services to continue to function effectively, as first reported in No Shit magazine.
Thus, the administration's own study proves its legal claims were completely false and baseless.
Had the Obama Administration chosen not to appeal their loss in LCR v US, or to insist on that emergency stay, they could have used this study to vindicate their decision not to appeal as empirically justifiable. That decision would have finally put the administration on the right side of this civil rights debate. They chose instead to stay their course of being tone-deaf bigots and hypocrites.
Besides eroding the administration's legal position, the study Obama demanded accomplished the following: it delayed the "repeal" vote until after the midterms when Democrats were sure to lose seats, and pushed the vote on the Defense Authorization Act of 2011 until essentially the last legislative minute, thereby creating a legitimate political justification for stripping the "repeal" amendment from the bill. One might be forgiven for assuming the administration's insistence on the study's December release was a poison pill by design.
If the amendment is stripped, the next move will be the Ninth Circuit's, around February or March of 2011. At that point, the Obama Administration is going to be forced to argue that the appeals court should ignore the evidence from the study and overrule the district court's finding that the gay ban is unconstitutional. Of course, given that this is a gay rights case, I make room for the real possibility that the court will happily ignore the evidence and perform all manner of legal and logical gymnastics to keep the discriminatory laws intact.
They usually do.
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