Navy chaplain guilty until proven innocent in gay-discrimination allegation

First they came for the chaplains.

Chaplain crossNew post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!



The enthusiastic Virginia Phillips, US District Court judge in Riverside, California, has today enjoined the Department of Defense to cease enforcing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) forthwith.  The US Justice Department had appealed her September ruling that the law is unconstitutional, but Phillips issued her injunction pending higher court action.

It’s not clear that, as a federal district judge, she even has the authority to do this.  The whole case, which was brought originally by the Log Cabin Republicans, has reeked of bad-law exceptionalism. Continue reading “Hopey-Changey-Unconstitutional-y”

Interfaith Foxholes

Repealing DADT will sentence us to the global curse of separate foxholes.

As Congress this week considers language for the 2011 defense appropriation bill that would effectively repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, two current lawsuits frame the reality of what this matter is and is not about. One is that of Air Force Major Margaret Witt, who lived discreetly with a same-sex partner while serving as a flight nurse. In 2003, her lesbian partnership was brought to the attention of her command; in 2004, two years short of eligibility for military retirement, she was dismissed from the service.

She brought suit against the Air Force in 2006. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on her case in 2008, issuing an opinion that has so far received little media attention. The ruling’s Solomonic proposition is that, while the 1993 law passed by Congress is the law of the land, the military’s application of it requires a demonstration of more than mere homosexual practice on the part of a servicemember. To justify dismissal, according to the Ninth Circuit, the military must show that in an individual case, homosexual behavior creates a problem for unit cohesion or military discipline. (As commentators point out, this ruling, among its other oddities, has effect for the U.S. military only in the Western states overseen by the Ninth Circuit Court.)

The Obama administration declined to appeal that verdict in 2009. And I believe most servicemembers would regret Major Witt’s dismissal anyway. Continue reading “Interfaith Foxholes”

And So It Begins

Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of policy: the real battle over DADT is beginning.

It was Hamlet who exclaimed, when events proved his suspicions about the murder of his father, “O my prophetic soul!”

Readers, you may consider yourselves fortunate that that’s the only line of Hamlet’s I intend to invoke here.  It is apposite, however, because events have begun proving my predictions from last year about what it would mean to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the US military.

Repealing DADT isn’t about gays serving.  They already serve.  Repealing DADT is about gays telling.  It’s about achieving endorsement of homosexuality, and gay activist agenda items, through both military regulation and military culture.

I made the point here, and will make it again, that it is not possible for the military to merely “tolerate” openly-avowed homosexuality, in the way civilians think of tolerating it. Continue reading “And So It Begins”