President Obama's campaign promise to end the ban on gays in the military - and the "Don't ask/Don't tell" policy that forces thousands of military personnel to stay in the closet - appears to be driven now by a strategy of "don't rush."The recent coming-out by dozens of gay West Point graduates, including Arabic language specialist Lt. Daniel Choi of Tustin, has spotlighted the conflicting policies and put pressure on Congress and the White House to make good on promises to repeal them. I have to admit (actually I believe I already have), that it was Daniel that woke me up to this in the first place.
A report issued last week by UC Santa Barbara's Palm Center research institute said Obama had the power to thwart the discharging of military personnel for their sexual orientation. Under the "stop-loss" provision, the President can issue executive orders to retain any soldier deemed necessary to the service in a time of national emergency, the report said. Also, the President could halt the work of Pentagon review panels that brand troops as gay and thus excluded from service, the report said. And Obama and his Defense secretary could revise discharge procedures, as allowed under the 1993 law banning gays in the military.
Could and will of course are not the same thing. Obama has been in office for four months now. Of course some argue that he has been busy with other things. Indeed he has, but I would think he is able to milti-task!
So, if you haven't already written to him, do so. Let he know what you think!