Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a vote approving the Military Readiness Enhancement Act and clearing its way to be added to the “must pass” Department of Defense Authorization bill. Even when the law is passed, however, the discharges will continue until the Pentagon changes policies.
And that’s why Dan Choi isn’t eating.
Dan Choi and several other unidentified activists will begin fasting upon the bill’s passage until the Pentagon moves on the following pieces of the repeal:
All of these pieces were initially part of the legislation, but had been punted to the Pentagon as part of Monday’s compromise. Once the US Law banning service by gays and lesbians is repealed, its all in the hands of the Executive Branch, whom many activists hope will immediately institute a moratorium on discharges as the Pentagon did for six months in 1993.
Speaking of the 1990s, last night on Lundon Calling, I had the honor of interviewing Col. Grethe Cammermeyer–portrayed by Glenn Close in the movie Serving in Silence–where we delved into the history of this topic. Cammermeyer, the highest ranking servicemember ever discharged for being gay, was discharged before the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ compromise was put into place in 1993, and won a Federal Court case allowing her to return to the military and complete her service in 1997. It was a great discussion about everything going down on this front.
Good luck, Dan, don’t get too skinny–you know we love our soldier boys with a little meat on them! 😉