News (USA)

Justice Department still defending now-repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Justice Department still defending now-repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

On the same day that the Obama administration announced that the Justice Department would stop defending portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, we learn that the DOJ is still defending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in court, even though it’s been repealed.

When Congress repealed the military ban on openly gay service members back in December, we all new that it was going to be a short wait before the repeal actually went into effect — in this case, repeal is expected to be implemented by the end of Summer 2011.

However, while the military goes through its training period over the next few months, the Department of Justice is planning on continuing its defense of the now-repealed law in the court case brought by the Log Cabin Republicans.

The New York Times reports:

Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, noted the traditional role of the executive branch in defending statutes passed by Congress, and added, “In light of the Congressional vote to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ policy, we are working with the Department of Defense to take the appropriate steps in pending cases to conform with the recently passed law and the process established for repealing this policy.”

Dan Woods, the lawyer for the Log Cabin Republicans, said, “The sad thing is that they are fighting for a policy that the president admits is bad for the military.” Now that Congress has acted, the administration’s straddle is more uncomfortable still.

Meanwhile, the discharge panels, responsible for discharging soldiers who are discovered to be gay or lesbian, have yet to be stopped.

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