And what if the Pentagon decides it's not "ready"? Who knows. But despite the supposition that the Pentagon is totally on board with this policy change, given Defense Secretary Robert Gates' purported opposition to DADT, and the whole "Pentagon review" business is a perfunctory step being used to justify pushing implementation as far back in the year as possible, the terse response here seems to belie the assumption everyone's definitely on the same page:
"Given that Congress insists on addressing the issue this week," said Geoff Morrell, a spokesman for Mr. Gates, "we are trying to gain a better understanding of the legislative proposals they will be considering."Oof.
The primary legislative proposal being considered is, according to The Advocate, one whose "language would not include a nondiscrimination policy but rather will return authority for open service by gays and lesbians to the Pentagon." That's a worrying non-commitment to codified equality, in my estimation. Certainly there's an argument to be made that a nondiscrimination policy could potentially be interpreted to tacitly discriminate against any group not explicitly protected, but, at the moment, given the polarized opinion on gay rights between the two major parties, I'm more concerned that, in the void of a concrete nondiscrimination policy, a new Republican administration would mean a new policy at the Pentagon.
I'd rather see a firm (and thus difficult-to-unwind) nondiscrimination policy guaranteeing LGB soldiers the right to serve openly, necessitating the need to add more inclusive language as is required, than allow open service in the negative space where a guarantee should be.
But that requires spine and a serious commitment to equality, obviously. Neither of which are in abundant evidence among the Democratic Party.