A civilian judge’s injunction earlier this week in the case brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, purporting to stop the worldwide enforcement of the law preventing individuals who participate in homosexual conduct from serving in the military has caused a great deal of uncertainty within the military. The so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is still on the books, and the court ruling comes from a district judge in the Ninth Circuit, rather than the United States Supreme Court. There is already one case in which a court has ordered the reinstatement of an Air Force nurse, Major Margaret Witt, who was discharged under this policy, although I’m not sure whether the reinstatement has actually occurred at this point.

The Defense Department has yet to finish its year-long study of how best to implement a repeal of this policy, meaning that there are no guidelines currently in place for dealing with the fallout of the judge’s ruling. Will the government appeal a decision that strikes down a policy the Administration wants repealed? Will homosexual acts investigations and discharges in progress be halted? Will those previously discharged under this law be reinstated, if they request it? If so, how will the break in service affect their future military careers? Answers to all these questions remain to be seen.

For more analysis, here are several points of view to peruse.

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