You know things are bad when both the liberals at the New York Times and the conservatives at The Economist are calling your record on gay rights appalling, but such is The Obama Life right now. Also appalling: New evidence the Defense Department is actually considering separate but equal facilities for gay soldiers.
In January there were murmurs out of the Pentagon that military leaders were considering how to change bathing and living facilities to accommodate the post-DADT world, where gay servicemembers could leave open their laptops unafraid to show off their partners on their desktop wallpaper. In July Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters, “We think it would be irresponsible to conduct a survey that didn’t address these questions because when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is repealed, we will have to determine if there are any challenges in those particular areas, any adjustments that need to be made in terms of how we educate the force, or perhaps even facility adjustments that need to be made to deal with those scenarios.”
But then Morell clarified “no one is considering ‘separate but equal’ bathing or living facilities for you know, gay and straight troops. That’s just not ever a consideration.”
Oh really? Because in the Department of Justice’s Thursday appeal of the DADT-is-unconstitutional ruling, it certainly sounds like that’s exactly what the Pentagon is considering. As the Times notes in an editorial:
Clifford Stanley, the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said in a court filing that ending the antigay policy would require training, and reworking regulations on issues like housing, benefits and standards of conduct. He said the Army had to consider the “rights and obligations of the chaplain corps.” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the military had to consider whether barracks should be segregated and whether partners of gay soldiers should have benefits. This sounds disturbingly like the creation of a “separate but equal” system. The armed forces do not need to be protected from their gay and lesbian personnel. The military has always had its own culture and rules of behavior, but it has not been living in a cave.
And that’s probably the only outcome folks like Sen. John McCain could every reasonably tolerate. Here’s him insisting he’ll definitely filibuster any attempt to repeal the law. (Scroll to 5:00 mark.)