Saturday, July 25, 2009

What's next?

Later today I will be at the funeral of a friend. He was a gay man who served in our US military. This week I posted a list of famous gays in the military. He wasn't famous, but he served as so many others have. Can gay men and women continue to serve? What is the next chapter in this struggle?

Lawrence J. Korb, Sean Duggan, and Laura Conley have laid out a five-step solution to repealing Don't Ask/Don't Tell that starts with the Obama administration setting the agenda - Sign an Executive Order banning further military separations based on DADT and send a legislative proposal on DADT repeal to Congress; Form a presidential panel on how to implement the repeal; Repeal DADT in Congress and change the Uniformed Code of Military Justice; Change other necessary military guidelines to conform to the new policy; and finally follow-up to ensure that the armed forces implement the policy changes.

The report also says that "careful examination of the laws outlining the president's powers as commander in chief show that the executive branch has the authority to suspend homosexual conduct discharges without legislative action." This provision, commonly known as a "stop loss" order, grants the president authority to suspend the release of military members during any period of national emergency in which members of a reserve unit are serving on active duty. But because Congress originally passed the ban, an executive suspension will have to be followed up with legislative action that reverses DADT.

Each day we continue to write about it here, but is that enough? Have our words served to inform anyone or to change anyone's mind? Have we brought you to conversation or caused you to send any emails or write any letters? We will continue to write here of course, but we would love your suggestions as well. What else can we do? What can others do? How can we more quickly see justice for all? How can we more quickly see an end to DADT?

What to YOU think?

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