Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military

Pentagon Issues Memo Asking Gays Not To Tell - Yet

Days after Judge Virginia Philiips issued a ruling that would cease the enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Pentagon issued a memo that serves to make sure that gays in the military are not ready to tell. At least not yet. This is apparently a reaction to the recent filing for a stay against the injunction by the Department of Justice. 

6a00d8341c730253ef0133f5127d3d970bThe memo, signed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readines Clifford L. Stanley and date-stamped yesterday, reads in part:

"In light of the appeal and the application for a stay, a certain amount of uncertainty now exists about the future of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law and policy. We note for service members that altering their personal conduct in this legally uncertain environment may have adverse consequences for themselves or others should the court's decision be reversed."

Politico adds:

The Pentagon is walking a fine line here. Their advice is consistent with what most groups advocating an end to DADT are urging. However, Phillips found that the current policy violates service members First Amendment rights. So full compliance with her order means the government has to be very careful about not intimidating troops out of exercising free speech rights that they are guaranteed by Phillips's decision, at least so long as it stands. This may be why Stanley's memo refers to "personal conduct," putting more of a focus on acts soldiers might engage in rather than what they might say.

You can read the memo in its entirety here.

Also on Friday, the Log Cabin Republicans went to federal court to request that the stay of injunction request by the DoJ be denied.

Meanwhile, Gen. James Conway recently told Fox News that "our Marines, by and large, they say that they are concerned that (allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military) will cause potential problems with regard to their order and discipline -- that it will impact their sense of unit cohesion."

How did he come to this conclusion? "Informal polls" he conducted in which he claims 90 to 95 percent of heterosexuals in the military agree with this sentiment.

Looks like Conway is trying to get in as much polling as he can before he's gone. The General will retire from the Marines later this month.

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  1. If Conway's comments contained any truth the US marines would be in a sorry state.

    I leave 'unit cohesion' alone but a soldier should be able to have the same commitment to order and discipline regardless of his/her colleagues sexuality.

    And I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to the servicepeople and believe that 'unit cohesion' is achieved more so from working together, accumulating success and enduring difficulty than it is by bonding over wanting to bang the same chicks.

    Posted by: Shawn | Oct 16, 2010 9:46:21 AM

  2. Well, Conway's commander in chief disagrees and its wrong of him to mouth off his disagreement with his superiors on Fox news.

    Posted by: pete | Oct 16, 2010 10:02:32 AM

  3. "by and large" is that a scientific term I'm unaware of? Should they start using that in calculus class?

    What's so continually fucking stupid about this is that most soldiers -- even Marines -- know who is gay and who isn't. And those who don't suspect. And -- according to Conway there must be cohesion now if he's worried there won't be WHEN PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO STOP LYING -- so the TRUTH is going to make it difficult for guys who are supposedly an elite fighting machine.

    Really? They aren't scared of people who hate them and want to kill them, they are "scared of the gays"? It's just fucking stupid.

    Conway needs to grow a pair. Most of our allies allow gays in their military and supposedly the "greatest fighting machine in the world" can't handle the truth...that gay men and women are ALREADY IN THE MILITARY. In arguably bigger percentages then they are in civilian life.

    This country was founded on principles that none of the people who supposedly stand by those principles want to accept as the principles. Or think only apply to them. Time for all Americans to grow the hell up and stop acting like ridiculous idiots. There are gay people in the world, in the country, in the military, in the neighborhood, in the churches. Get over it and remember when you put your hand over your heart and pledge allegiance to the flag is says, "liberty and justice for ALL." Only an infantile idiot thinks it's just about them.

    Posted by: Bart | Oct 16, 2010 10:04:25 AM

  4. Sounds like Gen. Conway could use an "asshole buddy"; methinks the lady doth protest too much. When I was in the marines in the '80s, our D.I. told us to pick an "asshole buddy"- someone we would give our asshole to if asked. This was unit cohesion carried to the maximum.

    The Marine Corps has always been the "macho-gayest" of the services, principally because of the hypermasculinity mystique which comes with being a marine. And BTW, marines have always been trained to be masochists- to take a beating and keep on fighting.

    Posted by: Jack | Oct 16, 2010 10:08:28 AM

  5. I see they've dropped the pretense for the so-called implementation study. Wasn't it a few months ago they swore up and down that the study was to figure out HOW, not IF to implement a repeal?

    Memo reads: "The Department remains committed to the successful completion of the effort by the Comprehensive Review Working Group by December 1st to assess and consider the impacts a change in the Don't Ask Don't Tell law could have on military readiness, effectiveness and unit cohesion."

    Posted by: comodude | Oct 16, 2010 10:13:15 AM

  6. Well, Conway's commander in chief disagrees and its wrong of him to mouth off his disagreement with his superiors on Fox news

    Seriously??? how fucking naive can you be? If his CIC disagreed, he'd be out on his ass already (Conway has been saying this shit for MONTHS). How you people can still cling to the notion that Obama isn't a totally bigoted homophobe who DOESN'T LIKE GAY PEOPLE is beyond me. How many times does he have to kick you in the gut? And how much mental gymnastics does it take to convince yourself that he is appealing rulings that DADT and DOMA are unconsitutional, but he is opposed to them? He doesn't have to appeal, and he's even let stand other cases that have been in favor of christian propagandists. Wake the fuck up people. Obama and the operatives from the DNC adn HRC that troll these comments are LYING TO YOU!!!

    Posted by: gaylib | Oct 16, 2010 10:48:41 AM

  7. "Gen. James Conway recently told Fox News that 'our Marines, by and large,'"

    you can tell he likes marines with huge dicks

    Posted by: Philo | Oct 16, 2010 10:58:38 AM

  8. Because to tell the truth would be such a bad thing.

    Posted by: Tone | Oct 16, 2010 11:52:53 AM

  9. A lot of commanders surround themselves with "yes" men. When they ask a question they let it be known what kind of answer they want. The troops will tell the general what he wants to hear.

    Posted by: Alan | Oct 16, 2010 12:06:38 PM

  10. Re. Jack's comment....

    I thought the same thing.

    It's JUST ONE MORE piece of evidence that shows Obama and his Administration LIES to us with platitudes. It may well be this study was INTENDED to be on How not If, but it is clear that it was very easily turned into the later, apparently quite willingly by the Admin.

    Obama and his lies just continue......whatever it takes for political expediency is NOT the change I voted for and is NOT what his statements during the campaign and since indicate he valued. But it IS what his actions- and those of his subordinates- show. He doesn't want to be a fierce advocate, he just wants us to think he is so we give him our money and tell our liberal straight friends to vote for him and his agenda. What a total FAIL. At least you know a Republican is going to be a bigot to your face (like Palladino or Angle).

    Posted by: AgBoiNV | Oct 16, 2010 12:24:44 PM

  11. @Shawn
    That's true. "Unit cohesion" is a rather nebulous thing and scientists distinguish social and task cohesion. When most people talk about cohesion with regards to gay people, they mean social cohesion. That's certainly important, but it's task cohesion (the willingness to fulfill their mission and goals) that almost exclusively determines a unit's success

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 16, 2010 1:03:50 PM

  12. "our Marines, by and large"

    Maybe he said "our Marines, bi...and large".

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Oct 16, 2010 4:09:25 PM

  13. I think this is particularly revealing, about how the Pentagon will "implement" the repeal of DADT. That is, they won't. And why should they? Obama certainly won't fight to enforce any repeal.

    Make no mistake -- DADT is currently gone.

    There has been no appeal, and no stay (yet). Therefore, servicemembers cannot be discharged under DADT for any words or actions during this time, even if DADT is re-enforced at a later date.

    Surely a stay and an appeal will happen, because Obama is for keeping DADT. But not yet.

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 16, 2010 5:53:15 PM

  14. "At least you know a Republican is going to be a bigot to your face (like Palladino or Angle)."

    I'm never sure why some gay people see open, nutjob bigotry as somehow preferable to covert bigotry beneath rosy promises. Sure, you know what you're getting with the right-wing Repub's, but do you really want that? Not only a lack of progress but, if they had their way, decades of setbacks. They'd re-criminalize homosexuality if they could.

    It doesn't really matter if Obama "is for keeping DADT," he is on record (many many times) saying DADT will end on his watch. We must hold him to that and pressure him to keep his promise in every way that we can until it is a done deal. I'll give the teabaggers credit for one thing: they don't back down when politicians, for whatever reason, try to write them off. They persist and keep screaming, and loud persistence pays off. We need to stop caring whether Obama is lying or not and keep demanding action by lobbying those who are on our side to demand action. He owes us; the Dem's owe us; the open homophobes don't. We need to make 'em pay up while they're still in office.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 16, 2010 6:24:12 PM

  15. How f*cking ironic that General Conjob can blab anything he wants (regardless of the truth) under his 1st amendment rights, but the military is STILL denying equality to our brothers and sisters fighting to protect all of us and our rights. Meanwhile our "fierce advocate" now talks about ending DADT "on his watch" and HRC let's him get away with it. How much better for the WH to say we agree with the judge and will comply with the court's ruling. PERIOD.

    Posted by: TruthSeeker_Too | Oct 17, 2010 3:19:38 PM

  16. The Marine Corp is the branch most concerned about gays in the Armed Forces? LOL!! San Diego gay bars are full of gay and bi Marines every weekend. Somebody's trying to hide something...closet cases, maybe?

    Posted by: mad1026 | Oct 29, 2010 12:42:36 AM

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