Jarrod Chlapowski

So DADT's Unconstitutional. What's next?

Filed By Jarrod Chlapowski | September 10, 2010 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, lawsuits, LCR, lobby day, Servicemembers United

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. dontask.jpg 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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What we should be doing is tying this to enda after all if you think about the issue it is really the same. I am a TS vet and there are more than a few other TS /TG people that comment on Bilerico yet we will still be excluded if dadt is repealed under the current plan. By tying it to Enda we unify the entire lgbt and end the idea that the military is being used for a social experiment by requiring equality is spread throughout the whole of US society and business.Every American should be able to serve that is physically and mentally capable of serving. I will not deny that I have what society see's as a gender identity issue but I will offer up my Honorable discharge (three years Infantry m60 machine gunner) as proof that it didn't effect my ability to serve. I will also add that if science is beginning to recognize that I have a female structured brain then my service is also a testament to the fact that women shouldn't be excluded from combat arms on the basis of gender.I see no good reason to throw anyone under the bus and the goal of equality should be inclusive not exclusive.

I agree with all you said Jarrod. This is a win no matter how anyone else chooses to dice it or slice it. I thank the LCR for bringing the case.
We should not get caught up in who brought it. while some of us may not agree with all they stand for, in this instance and many others they have helped the cause and why not? They are part of our GLBT family as well. Thank Alex for us too! You guys have worked hard and one day we will all see the victory of all the hard fought battles.

"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." Just because I like the 'no prayer in schools' case that was brought by a Jehovah's witness doesn't mean that I have to liek the Jehovah's witnesses.

A pro-war claim from a right wing group, am I to be shocked? The military stops enforcing anti-gay rules as strictly every time recruitment is down and it needs bullet sponges. They were willing to try and make openly gay people go to Nam, why should I be surprised that, in an especially low recruitment period with two wars, they suddenly feel like they want gay soliders too? Also, the LCR stand fundamentally opposed to women's rights, the rights of the poor, the rights of people of color, atheists, etc. They are a capitalist right wing mess. Even if the repubs were 100% in love with white, wealthy, able bodied, christian cis gay males who were not immigrants, that still leaves a lot of us under the bus.

@amym440, I'm not pro-military and do not consider DADT a high priority (housing, education,medical care, ENDA, child custody, those are high priority), but I do agree with you that cis queer people should absolutely not support throwing trans people under the bus in regards to any civil rights legislation. I have no problem with listing 'all military and government positions' as protected under ENDA, but as someone who is strictly anti-war, I can't in good conscious take steps to promote militarism.

Good article Jarrod, I am a Democrat and an Obama Supporter but I do COMPLETELY give the LCR full credit for accomplishing this. The Department of Justice is doing their job in defending the "Don't ask Don't tell" law. President Obama has chosen the path of legislative repeal for don't ask don't tell. Hopefully by this time next year the law will be off the books completely.

I can't wait to see where this goes, friend!!!

You said:
"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." . . . "

You know, Jarrod, that was an entirely unnecessary paragraph. It damaged the article. You "assumed" that people will be bitching at the LCR at this momentous moment and amazing decision, and jumped on our cases before anyone even wrote a comment.

This article was about the decision and that only and should not have been used it as a chance for you to make a condescending statement to all the people who bitch at the LCR for them voting for discriminatory candidates. I, for one, am thrilled to death about the decision and I could care less who got it for us, even if Sarah Palin was the one.

Next time, how about giving us the benefit of the doubt that we know how to compartmentalize and leave these kinds of comments out. Compartmentalization may be something you may wish to learn for yourself someday.

Good thing that portion wasn't directed at you, then, Monica. The one who screams first in the crowd, and all that.

Clearly that portion did not come from nowhere. My ear is pretty close to the ground on this issue, and these mutterings were already rising within minutes after the decision was announced. No assumptions; people were indeed already bitching. The seeds were there and already beginning to sprout. I was pre-emptive only in the way that pulling out the roots of a budding weed is pre-emptive.

Looks like you have just confirmed the paranoia and internalized homophobia that plaque the LCR. Have a great life.