Pentagon to Gays: Please Stay in the Closet
The Pentagon has advised gay soldiers not to come out in the wake of a court order ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This is a very pro-gay move.
Josh summarizes it “Pentagon sends memo to members of the Armed Forces telling them to stay in the closet a bit longer, notwithstanding the court yelling stopping enforcement of DADT.” But Stanley gets it right. Essentially, he’s informing troops directly affected by 12 October court order that they might be in jeopardy because the Pentagon has filed an appeal and that, if a stay is granted or the decision overturned, anyone who comes out — thus violating the “Don’t Tell” part of the famous Clintonian compromise — would be subject to discharge.
Interestingly, this strikes me as a very pro-gay move. There’s an excellent chance that the order will be overturned and the policy reinstated for some period of time. If the Pentagon were interested in identifying and purging gays from the ranks, it seems to me that they would view this as a trap and stay quiet. That they’ve gone through the trouble to send out this memo indicates that they want gays to continue serving. Presumably, they fully expect — as do I — that gays will be allowed to serve openly one way or the other in the near future.
As an aside, because I think process matters, my strong preference here would be for the stay and/or the decision to be overturned, reinstating the current policy, and then for President Obama and Congress to quickly overturn the policy.