As we get closer to the Dec. 1 deadline for the Pentagon to send Obama the results of its Big Gay Survey, results continue to leak! Just in time, because DoJ just asked Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to ignore the Log Cabin Republicans’ request for an emergency halt of dismissals.
The timing of the two events couldn’t be more perfectly coordinated. In its filing, DoJ asserts court intervention into the military policy would cause instability, and only Congress can effectively and safely repeal the law.
Huh. Because the 370-page document about to land on the president’s desk states the exact opposite. Divided into two sections, the report will brief the White House on the results of polling a half million troops and their families, as well as a tentnative plan on how to implement repeal (read: tell gay soldiers they can tell people they are gay). And what is the commander-in-chief about to find out? That more than 70 percent of survey respondents believe repealing DADT would have a positive, mixed, or nonexistent impact on the military. It was enough to have the report’s authors, led by General Counsel Jeh Johnson and U.S. Army Forces Europe commander Gen. Carter Ham, conclude “objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them,” reports the Washington Post, whose sources included one person who “felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings.” Among other things, the report “recommends few, if any, changes to policy covering military housing and benefits, because the military must abide by the federal Defense of Marriage Act.”
One interesting note: The report concludes gay and lesbian troops should not be placed in a special class immune to discrimination or equal employment opportunities, and that is supposedly based on gay troops themselves saying they didn’t want special protection.
The report is already making the rounds: Navy chief Adm. Gary Roughead has received a draft of the report, but hasn’t reviewed it. It calls for a review of the effects of repeal one year after the ban is lifted.
Oh, so what was DoJ just telling the Supreme Court in its Wednesday filing?
As the government explained to the court of appeals, the Working Group has visited numerous military installations across the country and overseas, where it has interacted with tens of thousands of service members on this issue. It has also conducted an extensive survey of approximately 400,000 service members. The Working Group’s review will result in recommended changes to Department regulations and policies that would be necessary to implement an orderly and successful repeal of the statute. The Working Group is also developing guidance to properly train military commanders and service members with respect to any change in policy. Without sufficient time for such training and guidance, an immediate court-ordered repeal of the statute would risk disruption to military commanders and service members as they carry out their missions, especially in zones of active combat. There is thus nothing “exceptional” in the court of appeals’ conclusion that a momentous change in military policy should not occur overnight as the result of a global judicial decree.
[...] Invalidation of the DADT statute implicates dozens of DoD and Service policies and regulations that cover such disparate issues as housing, benefits, re-accession, military equal opportunity, anti-harassment, standards of conduct, rights and obligations of the Chaplain corps, and others. Amending these regulations would typically take several months. To change all of the implicated policies and underlying regulations will require a massive undertaking by the Department and cannot be done overnight.
Actually, the report concludes there’s actually very little to do, materially, once DADT is repealed, because its effects will be so negligble. In fact, the report says that any military personnel who have a problem with newly out gay soldiers should register a complaint, and those complaints will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Defense Sec. Robert Gates: Courts Striking Down DADT Offers ‘No Flexibility’
Breaking: Log Cabin Republicans Asks Supreme Court To Toss Out 9th Circuit’s DADT Stay, Immediately Halt Discharges