A San Diego federal judge has struck down the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law as unconstitutional and has issued a “worldwide injunction” against enforcement of the law, a law that was once hailed as a path for gays and lesbians to serve in the military, as long as they didn’t reveal their sexual orientation, and the military didn’t ask about it.
In issuing her injunction, Phillips observed that DADT has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the military’s ability to attract and retain service members during time of was, and has resulted in the loss of valuable and critical skills by discharging gay service people.
US District Judge Virginia Phillips, also said this, courtesy of the Associated Press (as seen in the Houston Chronicle):
“Furthermore, there is no adequate remedy at law to prevent the continued violation of servicemembers' rights or to compensate them for violation of their rights.”
By this, I believe she is referring to the proactive efforts by anti-gay personnel in the military to expose gays who are serving in the military – essentially undermining the “Don’t Ask” part of DADT.
In formulating the policy it was President Clinton’s intention to just make the issue go away by ignoring it, something that anti-gays in the military simply had no intention of doing. From ThinkProgress:
“Clinton was assured that the military would not pursue witch hunts against gay soldiers, but his policy led to that and resulted in hundreds of other abuses. The regulations prevent the military from initiating cases, but they instruct commanders to begin investigations once a servicemembers’ orientation is known. As a result, the history of DADT is riddled with witch hunts and with discharges that feel like with hunts. Soldiers were both unintentionally outed by circumstances outside of their control or illegally pursued by their commanders.”
So it really is a moot point. Enforcement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is impossible because the law offers no remedies for soldiers who fell victim to the ill-intent of their commanders and fellow servicemembers.
The spirit of DADT, in essence, became perverted. A worldwide injunction is right and just.
I just wonder if a federal district court judge has purview over military regulations.
I thought it didn’t work like that.
For once I hope I’m wrong.