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  IN THE NAVY

Cunning Linguist Ousted During DADT Reinstated In Navy

As soon as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was officially repealed, the question arose: Would those servicemembers discharged under the odious policy get reinstated?

The answer, at least for Petty Office 2nd Class Jase Daniels, is “yes.”

Daniels, a Navy linguist discharged in 2007 after he was featured in an article about being gay in the military in the Stars & Stripes, was sworn back in and reported to duty at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, this week.

Daniels enlisted into the Navy in 2001 and served in the Navy Ceremonial Guard for two years before studying Hebrew at the Institute. The Navy began discharge proceeding against Daniels after he transferred to Fort Gordon in 2005—where he came to terms with his sexuality and came out to his commanding officer.

He was recalled to active duty, though, in 2006 and sent to Kuwait. (Nothing like enlistment shortages to get the brass to look the other way, huh?) Eventually, Daniels was discharged again after appearing on the cover of Stars and Stripes, though he maintains he was able to serve as an openly gay man during most of his second tour of duty.

“Today, I took an oath and affirmed to defend the Constitution of the United States of America,” Daniels said on Monday. “I am humbled as I am reinstated to the job I love and by the enormous support I have received on this momentous day. I look forward to returning to the Defense Language Institute and ultimately, my career in the military.”

Daniels is one of three plaintiffs in a lawsuit, Almy v. U.S., that challenges the constitutionality of discharges under DADT. The fate of the other plaintiffs, former Air Force Major Mike Almy and former Air Force Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde, are expected to be announced soon, according to representatives of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

We hope Almy and Loverde will enjoy the same victory Daniels did, but what of the thousands of others who haven’t filed lawsuits? And what of those too old to return to active duty? Is it too much to expect all LGBT veterans will get justice?

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Dec 14, 2011
Tagged: , , ,

  • 5 Comments
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Um, no. As soon as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was officially repealed, the issue of discharge was settled. The repeal law creates no private cause of action. That’s legalspeak for “you can’t sue.”

      That — plus the continued mandatory discrimination — were the reasons Obama’s legislative repeal was and is a shitty deal.

      Had Obama not appealed LCR v Gates (all appeals are discretionary, so he bore no obligation) the decision would have stood, 10 USC §654 would have been rendered a legal nullity and with it, all discharges since 1993 — because an unconstitutional law was never a valid law.

      Automatic reinstatement for anyone still qualified to serve, back pay owed to all. Heaven forfend.

      Dec 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 1 · the crustybastard wrote, “Um, no. As soon as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was officially repealed, the issue of discharge was settled.” … not exactly – what isn’t settled might include issues such as back pay and other compensation for wrongful termination, which could apply if DADT discharges were found to be unconstitutional.

      Dec 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr.BoPeep
      Mr.BoPeep

      He’s got a nice smile. Doesn’t he have a nice smile?

      Dec 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @the crustybastard: Morally, good points; legally, not so sure.

      First, when the appeals court vacated the DADT decision as moot (that is, the legal issue at hand is over once the president signed the repeal into law), one of the judges also issued a concurring opinion wherein he cited the legal reasons that the appeals court would have still vacated the decision on the merits of the case. As annoying and demeaning as that would have been, his legal logic was impressively sound.

      And, had the administration decided not to appeal the decision, that would not have prevented members of Congress, the many anti-gay members, from stepping in as they have in the DOMA cases. By handling the appeal, the administration did prevent the rabid anti-gay members of Congress from action in the case.

      A decision by the appeals court to vacate the district court decision before the repeal was voted on would have been disastrous — it would have meant starting over from the beginning, adding 2 or more years (particularly considering election cycles) to the process.

      Additionally, by forcing the repeal legislatively, the new law is binding on future presidents. Though various GOP presidential candidates have blathered about reinstatement of DADT, that can’t be done without a legislative action, or, a reinstatement will NEVER make it through the Senate.

      Secondly, while you and I and most others of the LGBT community would have supported a compensation package for those discharged under DADT, had such a provision been attached to the repeal, it is much more likely that the whole repeal would not have been approved.

      Yes it sucks for those so egregiously harmed; it took nearly 50 years before there was any compensation to interned Japanese-Americans.

      Dec 15, 2011 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @Mr.BoPeep: Its a great smile. There is the old saying about taking the time to smell the roses; here, yes indeed, take the time to appreciate a beautiful smile and all the hopes, dreams, and warmth it represents. I am happy being happy for his happiness.

      Cheers to you too — I missed the importance when I read the posting yesterday, but wanted to see the comments today.

      Dec 15, 2011 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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