Don’t ask, don’t tell seems to have become the priority item even though employment non-discrimination would cover more people and has more support in Congress.
The New York Times explains why.
Lt. Dan Choi’s case is likely to make it to the Supreme Court. Choi is a decorated Iraq War veteran who is being drummed out of the military because he is gay, The case puts the Obama administration in the position of defending a policy they claim they do not support.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also claims to oppose the policy, is expected to announce today that the military will stop discharging those who are outed by third parties. That remains within the original law, which was supposed to be “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue.”
A majority of American support eliminating the law altogether, according to surveys.
Anti-gay policies like this have always been pushed during peace times while gays and lesbians have been retained in the military during times of war. The DADT policy was instituted during peace and the Bush Wars were the first time policies like this were actively pursued during extended periods of war.
During Vietnam, being gay in the military was not legal, but was also not a legitimate reason to get a deferment from the draft. (Believe me. I tried!) During World War II, gays and lesbians served in the military, many openly. Most of the office that cracked the German codes were gay. After the war, they were promptly discharged, many dishonorably.