The Pentagon says it’s suspended enforcement of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law barring openly gay men and women from the armed forces. On Tuesday, military officials said recruitment offices have been instructed to accept openly gay and lesbian applicants in accordance with a federal court injunction issued last week. But recruiters have also been told to advise applicants the ban may be re-imposed pending a Justice Department appeal. The Obama administration has sought to reinstate the ban to allow the Pentagon to conclude an internal review. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network says it’s advised gays and lesbians not to apply for the armed forces because of the legal uncertainty. Here in New York, one of the most vocal critics of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Lt. Dan Choi, filed papers to re-enlist in the military after being discharged earlier this year. Standing outside the recruitment station in Times Square, Choi criticized President Obama for challenging the court’s repeal.
Lt. Dan Choi: “It’s very difficult for us to repeal ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ if President Obama continues to do nothing but say some words. Some people make their statements based on words. I make my statement based on service and action. And I hope that President Obama can do the same thing. When I think of ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ I realize that the victims are not just the gay people who have been kicked out. Fourteen thousand is quite a bit of victims, but I’ve never claimed victimhood. The victims of ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ are those units that are stripped of the talented and capable team members, family members, and we do them a disservice — we do the entire military a disservice — when we discriminate against one kind of people.”