U.S. News: Passing the Buck on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Major U.S. news stories, from health-care reform to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Arizona Immigration Law Pushes the Limit | Health Care Reform: Years in the Making, Still Doesn't Satisfy | Landmark Financial Regulation Bill | Midterm Elections | A New Era for U.S., Russia, and Nuclear Arms | The Official End to the War in Iraq | Same-Sex Marriage Ban Temporarily Overturned in California | The Supreme Court: Personnel Changes & Major Decisions | Tea Party Victories
Passing the Buck on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
In October, in deciding a lawsuit on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" filed by the so-called Log Cabin Republicans, a gay-rights group, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips found the policy unconstitutional and ordered the government to stop enforcing the law, a political gift for Obama and Democrats. However, Secretary Gates responded to the ruling unfavorably, claiming that ending enforcement of the law so abruptly would have negative effects on the men and women currently serving in the military and that Congress should decide on the validity of the law. Days later, the Department of Justice appealed the ruling, and a federal appeals court temporarily stayed Judge Phillips's decision to allow gays to serve openly, giving President Obama and Congress more time to work out a more savory solution to the issue.
Senators Push Forward
Finally, on December 18, the Senate voted 65 to 31 in favor of repealing the law; eight Republicans sided with the Democrats to strike down the ban on gays in the military. The repeal was sent to President Obama for his final signature. The ban will not be lifted officially until Obama, Gates, and Mullen agree that the military is ready to enact the change.
For more information on gay rights:
- More from 2010 Year in Review