Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sooner or Later...

We've all been pretty busy around here, settling in to a new routine and watching our Fighting Irish hard at work, so I have to apologize for my tardiness in covering what is a fantastic victory for freedom lovers everywhere. This past Thursday, a federal judge in California proclaimed that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a violation of the First and Fifth Amendments in an 85-page opinion.

Despite President Barack Obama previously calling DADT a threat to national security, the U.S. Justice Department defended the policy in court. However, the Log Cabin Republicans (my favorite kind of Republican, if I have to have one) prevailed, with Justice Virginia Phillips saying she would issue an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy.

In her opinion, she said the main argument of the defendants, that gays openly serving in the military is a threat to troop readiness, is unsupported by evidence and the policy actually have a "direct and deleterious effect" on our military. The Justice department will have the opportunity to appeal her decision, though there has been no developments as to whether they intend to challenge.

Hopefully, this ruling will spur the Senate to review and repeal DADT, which they have yet to bring to the floor. The House already voted for its appeal back in May, though the proceedings seemed to hit the brakes with little development when the Senate decided to wait until the Pentagon finished its review of the effects of openly gay servicemen in the military

If the Senate continues to wait to rule on the matter, I am fearful that midterm election results will kill the efforts to repeal DADT. With Republicans polling much stronger than Democrats in many parts of the country, a Senate shift after midterms could effectively kill the repeal of DADT and the efforts of the Log Cabin Republicans.

However, I am confident that whether it be this year, or in ten more, gay rights will inevitably prove victorious. With two consecutive rulings coming from California in favor of both gay marriage and the repeal of DADT, it is clear to me that our country is on the right path to awarding our citizens the freedoms they deserve. Of course, sooner is better than later, but later is better than never.

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