Amidst all the hoopla heading into Memorial Day weekend over the ‘repeal’ of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network very wisely posted a warning to all members of all service branches: nothing has changed. As a public service, I am re-posting SLDN’s warning here:
Attention Service Members: DADT is Still in Effect
*** *** *** *** *** ATTENTION SERVICE MEMBERS *** *** *** *** ***
"DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL" IS STILL IN EFFECT
It is being widely reported that Congress is acting on legislation that would repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." Regardless of what happens in Congress, it is important to remember that the legislation being considered, if and when it passes, will NOT go into effect immediately. "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" continues to be the law, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members remain vulnerable to being discharged on the basis of their sexual orientation.
While Congress is taking steps to enact a roadmap for full repeal and the implementation of open service, it is not safe to come out nor serve openly until the process of repeal is complete. During this time, continue to check with SLDN regarding changes in the law, changes to the regulations, and what impact, if any, these developments mean for your ability to serve openly.
– Do NOT come out.
– "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" remains the law until this process is complete.
– Lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members are still being discharged under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" and they will continue to be discharged until this process is complete.
– Continue to check with SLDN to learn about how the latest political developments will impact your ability to serve openly.
Earlier this year, DoD made changes to how "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" is implemented – those changes remain in effect.
If you have questions about how the latest political developments may impact you, or about "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" in general, call 202-328-3244 x100 or email legal at sldn dot org to schedule an appointment with an SLDN attorney.
By Aaron Tax, SLDN Legal Director
Teddy here: Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. As you honor those who serve, remember: DADT is still the law. Stay safe, stay closeted, stay private.