Washington D.C., Oct 23, 2010 / 06:01 am
After a series of legal reversals this week, the permanent status of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy on homosexuality remains unresolved. On Oct. 22, Military Archbishop Timothy Broglio explained to CNA why he believes the government must maintain the policy.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” was “unconstitutional”-- prompting criticism from those who see the Constitution as silent on the matter, and opposition from the Obama administration which prefers its legislative repeal. While a Justice Department order temporarily kept Phillips' ruling from taking effect, the Pentagon also issued new rules on Oct. 22, limiting military officials' authority to discharge open homosexuals.
Archbishop Broglio explained to CNA what he sees as the basic flaw in Judge Phillips' ruling, which declared that “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” denied homosexual soldiers their rights to freedom of speech and due process. The archbishop explained that while individuals may have a legal right to declare their sexual preferences, they have no comparable “right” to serve in the military at the same time.
Rather, he said, the military reserves to itself the right to deny individuals that privilege-- just as soldiers may forfeit the privilege of military service in many other ways, through their speech and behavior.