The headline in Tuesday's Navy Times reads: "Effort to alter DADT repeal may be too late." The story, in advance of this morning's House Armed Services Committee mark-up hearing for the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, is about the efforts of antigay Republicans to block the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
"What I really want is for the branch chiefs to certify that this is not going to hurt anybody and that the military is going to be better if this happens. If it's not, then what is the point?" Hunter told the Navy Times.
Since Hunter's amendment is to the 2012 defense authorization bill, it "is very unlikely to become law in time to change the certification process," given the legislative process. And Hunter knows it:
Hunter acknowledged that his amendment may be coming too late to have an impact on certification, but said the language could be modified before becoming law to require a recertification process where the service chiefs or combatant commanders would have a say before different parts of the military allowed gays to openly serve.
Log Cabin Republicans contacted Hunter and Republican members on the HASC and "urged them to 'not road block the repeal of DADT' with amendment(s) which would add 'an unnecessary and unwanted measure to a clear, comprehensive and thus-far successful certification process,'" R. Clarke Cooper, LCR Executive Director, said in a statement. "This isn't about what the joint chiefs want - it's about pandering to special interest groups and a stubborn refusal to recognize America is ready to grant all of our men and women in uniform the respect and freedom they deserve. This question has been asked and answered. It's time to move on."
That political posturing continues to plague implementing repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' demonstrates the ongoing importance of the Log Cabin Republicans lawsuit which unequivocally proved that this failed policy was and is an affront to our constitution. With the implementation process proceeding smoothly and the military successfully preparing for open service, there is no reason for the threat of discharge to continue to hang over gay servicemembers. Therefore, Log Cabin Republicans are calling for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the stay on the permanent injunction against enforcing DADT.
Dan Woods, partner at White & Case and lead attorney in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, filed a motion on Tuesday (see below). He issued this statement:
"We are asking the Court of Appeals to vacate its November 2010 stay of Judge Phillips's injunction because the US government is no longer arguing in its appellate briefs that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is constitutional, and that was the key reason for the government seeking a stay in the first place. Now that the government has abandoned that claim and no longer argues that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is constitutional, the Court of Appeals should vacate the stay and reinstate the district court's injunction precluding the government from enforcing or applying "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". This is especially important because "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is still the law of our country and the government is still applying it to violate the constitutional rights of current and prospective members of our country's armed forces."
Here's the LCR motion filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
img from Duncan Hunter's site, cross-posted at LGBT POV