Saturday, June 06, 2009

President Obama should issue XO lifting "don't ask don't tell" according to Palm Center and HRC paper


The Human Rights Campaign is organizing an effort to persuade President Obama to issue an Executive Order to lift the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy regarding gays in the military.

The Palm Center is Santa Barbara, CA has a press release here.

The Palm Center publishes a PDF making the legal case that President Obama can suspend the policy (it uses the “stop-loss” orders of the Bush administration as legal precedents), but admits that Congress will need to act later, and many details of conduct rules (like with the Internet) would need to be developed. Here is the URL. The official name of the paper is "How to End 'Don't Ask Don't Tell': A Roadmap of Political, Legal, Regulatory and Organizational Steps to Equal Treatment". The paper suggests that the president does not need to seek permission of military leaders to end the policy. The paper refers to a number of professional studies and surveys, including foreign militaries and especially the 1993 Rand Corporation study, to argue that there will be no adverse effect on unit cohesion.

Curiously, the HRC website this morning does not yet include this development among its “latest news”. Perhaps it will appear there Monday morning.

The Palm Center is a component of the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research at the University of California at Santa Barbara. I visited the institute an Aaron Belkin in Feburary 2002.

Attribtion link for Wikimedia Commons picture of the USCB campus

Also, look at the SLDN petition and CNN video of USAF Lt Col Victor Fehrenbach, who was forcibly outed in May 2008 (ironically in Boise, ID) and then processed for discharge under DADT. He says there has been no effect on unit cohesion while he stays in his unit.

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