“This is good news for a few reasons — it shows the power of grassroots efforts to apply pressure and the reality that, when we expose the truth and stand up for our dignity, we win. We don’t know how many other servicemembers are facing discharge, but we will not rest until all Americans — LGB and T — are free to serve their country freely, openly, honestly, and without danger of discharge,” she added.
The four-hour Navy hearing happened 100 days after President Barack Obama signed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” into law.
The policy remains in effect until 60 days after the president, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff all agree that the military’s ability to fight won’t be adversely affected by ending the ban. That’s expected to happen later this year.
Attorney Mark King told KMPH last year that it was still perfectly legal for the Navy to continue to pursue separations for sailors who admit they are gay.
“There is nothing illegal about what the Navy is trying to do,” he said. “If someone does something in January that by June is no longer a crime, there’s nothing unconstitutional about prosecuting them in September over what happened in January.”
“We have to treat them all with dignity and respect,” Navy Commander Danny Hernandez said. “At the same time, there is a law and we have to maintain that law.”
This video is from KMPH, broadcast March 31, 2011.
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