The Ninth Circuit ruled in 2008 that blanket policies against gays in the military are illegal; the court said the military has a case-by-case burden of proof as to whether a gay or lesbian soldier disrupts unit cohesion.
So, if you're a gay or lesbian servicemember in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, you're OK. My recommendation? Come out now, and push.
Of course, some military brass, like the homophobic, Jesus will kill Muslims Lt. Gen. William Boykin, might say, "Well, we will just transfer you to a posting outside those nine states."
That said, back to the story. How did we get here?
The judges in the case of Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt said the legal landscape changed when the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 struck down a Texas ban on sodomy as an unconstitutional intrusion on privacy. (I'm sure Nino Scalia is having a case of apoplexy right now.) The 9th Circuit said that the landmark decision opened the door for the courts to take a fresh look at the constitutional rights of gay Americans.
And, from that, one Congressman sees a way forward on DADT:
Rep. (Vic) Snyder suggested that the Defense Department cure the problem by making the venue for all "don't ask" dismissals fall within the 9th Circuit, so that all service members would have the same rights.
Go, go, go!
Bigger issue, though.
This was adjudicated in 2008. In the middle of a presidential election, in which the veep candidates were "quizzed" on gay marriage issues in their debate. SEVERAL questions abound.
1. If McCain is so against DADT now, where was he then, when this ruling came out? You know the answer; he wasn't yet such an anti-Obama panderer.
2. If not McCain himself, why didn't some of his campaign staff leak this, and try to nail Obama down? Maybe they thought it wasn't a winning issue with independents, which means that Obama's current dilatory (polite for "foot-dragging") work on DADT is all the more said.
3. And related, if Obama really cares that much about repealing DADT, or working past/around it, why didn't he, or somebody on his staff, get Vic Snyder's bright idea?