When it comes to kicking Americans out of the military because they’re gay, the occasional defense — offered by conservatives who know the policy is absurd — is that the Pentagon is merely following the law. If Congress wants able-bodied, patriotic, American volunteers to join the Armed Forces, regardless of sexual orientation, lawmakers should change the policy. If not, the Defense Department doesn’t have a lot of choice.
Except, that’s wrong. Gay soldiers discharged under the DADT policy have dropped from 1,200 a year in 2001 to less than half of that now -- and it's probably not a coincidence.
The U.S. military says it is enforcing the ban on open homosexuals in the ranks, as it has for decades, in the face of statistics that show a sharp drop in the number of discharged homosexuals as wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue.
Homosexual rights advocates cite the plunge as evidence that the military is losing interest in enforcement and lets openly homosexual men and women serve because commanders need every able-bodied troop.
"Truth be told, I don't think the Pentagon is a big fan of the law anymore," said Steve Ralls, spokesman for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which is pushing for the ban's demise.
Then maybe it's time to end the ban?