The pressure is on President Obama, said Mark Thompson in Time, now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy preventing gays and lesbians from serving in the military. The high court on Monday turned away a gay Ohio soldier's challenge "with the legal backing of none other than the Obama administration," even though Obama had pledged on the campaign trail that he would reverse the ban.
Obama dodged a bullet, said Jonathan Capehart in The Washington Post. If the Supreme Court had agreed to hear the challenge by James Pietrangelo II, a former Army infantryman and lawyer, the Obama administration would have had to defend this "nonsensical" policy. But Obama still has to keep his campaign promise, both to save face and to avoid losing "valuable gay troops"—like Arabic linguist Lt. Daniel Choi—who "are getting the heave-ho" because of who they are, just when their country needs them the most.
This is indeed a sensitive time, said Rod Dreher in Beliefnet, and that's precisely why it's the wrong time to get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. There are no studies to refute the claim that letting gay soldiers serve openly would hurt military discipline and readiness. "Forcing a change in the rules amounts to social experimentation in an institution that, to me, ought not to be subject to such experimentation."
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