Good news! President Obama has given his stamp of approval to a compromise on repealing the Pentagon's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, which effectively bars gay people from serving in the military. It might even happen this week!
"Don't Ask Don't Tell," is the horrible result of President Clinton's attempt to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians in the military. See, the idea is, you "don't ask" if someone is a gay, and if you are a gay, you "don't tell" anyone. This means, if you are really secret about who you are, and what your life is like, you are legally allowed to put your life on the line to defend your country. Definitely, just from that kind of summary, it is hard to see how such a policy could lead to marginalization and psychological distress! So obviously, Republicans are in favor of such a policy.
Luckily, Democrats haven't completely sold out the gay agenda, for once! At this point, nearly every major Democrat wants gays to serve (openly) in the military. More importantly, non-Democrats Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates think Don't Ask Don't Tell should probably be repealed. In fact, Sec. Gates wants (out) gays in the military so badly that he would like almost a whole year to plan a party for their arrival! Oh, wait, not "plan a party." He wants almost a whole year to "study the impact on the troops."
So, what we get is a compromise: The Obama administration has endorsed a set of amendments to the Pentagon's budget, which goes through Congress this week, that would repeal the policy. In exchange, the repeal wouldn't go into effect until Sec. Gates completes his gays in the military fanfic and Obama officially certifies that having homosexuals in the military won't open the sixth seal ("Cosmic Disturbances or Heavenly Signs"). Since Gates' review is due in December, we're probably not looking at actual (out) gay dudes and dudettes killing Taliban until next year at the earliest.
For its part, the Republican party, full of grown-ups as always, has vowed to defend a policy they originally opposed—one that three Joint Chiefs of Staff and hundreds of retired generals and admirals have said is outdated and ineffective. And Sec. Gates was unusually quiet on the subject today (probably spending too much time planning that party), which isn't a great sign. So don't schedule your coming out ceremony, yet! If you are in the military. Otherwise, go for it.
[WaPo; pic via AP]