No, not Miss California. The other buxom gay-marriage opponent. The one whose supposedly good intentions are starting to wear thin.
Say, isn’t he required by law to fire him? Well, even if he was, he’ll have a filibuster-proof majority in Congress soon to change that law if he likes. But, strictly speaking: No, he’s not required.
A new study, about to be published by a group of experts in military law, shows that President Obama does, in fact, have stroke-of-the-pen authority to suspend gay discharges. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” law requires the military to fire anyone found to be gay or lesbian. But there is nothing requiring the military to make such a finding. The president can simply order the military to stop investigating service members’ sexuality.
An executive order would not get rid of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, but would take the critical step of suspending its implementation, hence rendering it effectively dead. Once people see gays and lesbians serving openly, legally and without problems, it will be much easier to get rid of the law at a later time.
I spent a day with Dan Choi last month, and he is not someone we want to fire from the military. He loves the armed forces. He served bravely under tough combat conditions in Iraq. His Arabic is excellent, and he used his language skills to diffuse many tough situations and to save lives, both Iraqi and American. All of his unit mates know he is gay, and they have been very supportive of him. But he doesn’t want to live a lie.
Choi’s being interviewed on Rachel Maddow’s show as I write this; I’ll update with video once it’s available. It’d be nice to see the president of the United States, for once, face 1/1000th of the heat Carrie Prejean’s taken for voicing her opinion at a beauty pageant.
Update: As promised, here’s the video from tonight’s show.