Note: Cross-posted on Pam's House Blend.
Yesterday a ruling was finally issued on the years-old LCR vs. USA case declaring DADT to be unconstitutional and placing an injunction on discharges. I still remember the day - after a meeting with Sen. John Warner - Alex was asked to be lead plaintiff on this case. Both legislative and judicial repeal were a long shot at that point, so the attitude then was "Why not?" Always good to have a backup plan.
Over the next day or so there will be many analyses of what the ruling means that will be much more clever than my non-lawyer mind could produce. So I won't. Ultimately what the analyses will say is that this doesn't stop discharges, yet, and the appeals process is very long.
So what does this mean going forward into, say, next week when Congress gets back into session? It means we use this to push, push, push for a September vote.
Now is not the time to show off your political prowess with flabergasted side-eyed sentiments like, "Ok, this is a good step forward, but it's Log Cabin, so... I just don't get them and their self-hating self-hatred. Here's my diatribe as to why." This lawsuit is a good thing, and a positive product many accuse Log Cabin of not producing. If you claim your opinion of Log Cabin is based on rational logic, then rationally you have to give them kudos for this lawsuit. No, you do. Seriously, cut the crap.
Now is the time, however, to use the hell out of this lawsuit. How? Three ways:
- Talk, talk, talk about it. Use this as an example of how the courts are stronger than our advocates in Congress. State that the only way to claim otherwise is to vote on NDAA in September. Show that if the Dems want to claim any association with repeal of DADT, they had better push Congressional repeal this year. Write a blog post about how a sure way to de-motivate a base is to not jump on repealing DADT now. There are many possible angles to talk about this, so do. Keep this in the public psyche going into next week, as this will be key in determining how Congress goes forward with its September schedule.
- Call/write/whatever your Senator and talk, talk, talk about it. Let them know that you fully expect them to take on this issue this year and not let them be outdone by the courts, and that not pushing for legislative repeal, now, would be very disappointing.
- Identify upcoming DADT repeal events and participate where you can. I can tell you on SU's end we have our Final Assault lobby day in DC next Thursday (September 16), which is a great opportunity to demonstrate that we, as a community, are taking repeal this year very seriously, and that we know that no vote in September is very bad for repeal prospects.
Bottom line - the momentum for repeal has kicked up again at a very opportune time. Let's not screw it up over petty in-fighting.
Let's do this.