Admiral Mike Mullen and Secretary Bob Gates (Photo: US Navy)
Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen announced a new set of regulations for discharging LGB servicemembers under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, designed to make the policy more “humane,” but as Rachel Maddow points out, all it does is make the policy look a little more like what it was originally promised to be. Among other changes, third-party outings will be limited, evidence triggering a hearing will also be restricted, and now only 1-star generals and admirals will be able to initiate discharge proceedings and inquiries, hopefully reducing the fear LGB servicemembers will have to live with.

Meanwhile, after the head of all ground troops in the military’s Pacific Command sent an open letter to the military’s paper Stars and Stripes denouncing efforts to repeal DADT, Mullen denounced his action as verging on mutiny. “In the end,” Mullen said, “if there is either policy direction that someone in uniform disagrees with — and I’ve said this before — the answer — and you feel so strongly about it — you know, the answer is not advocacy; it is in fact to vote with your feet.”

So where does this leave repeal? The good news is, every time the top of the top brass (Gates and Mullen) come up against opposition to a repeal from within the military, they reiterate their commitment to repeal as a goal articulated by the President. But it’s still uncertain whether or not the new DADT regulations will hinder the passage of a repeal by creating a sense that the broken policy is “fixed.”

Elsewhere…

D.C. – HRC head fails to take Gates to task over calling for no legislative action on DADT this year. (Human Rights Campaign, writing in the Huffington Post)

D.C. – DC same-gender marriage survives an attempt to kill it in Congress. (DC Agenda)

New York – Ign’ant film at the Tribeca film festival. It’s called “Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives,” and that’s not the half of it. (Pam’s House Blend)

Mississippi – This isn’t the first time Constance McMillen’s high school has had problems with official anti-LGBT discrimination. Last year, the public high school booted a trans student after he’d been attending classes for a grand total of four hours. (The Stranger)

Virginia – A state Supreme Court case tests Gov. Bob McDonnell’s claim that Virginia anti-discrimination laws are strong enough to prevent LGBT state employees from being unjustly fired without special protections. (Bilerico Project)

Texas – First they try to erase Thomas Jefferson from history, now they’re going after LGBTs and racial and ethnic minorities. Haven’t they got their order of victimization backwards? (EDGE)

Canada – The lower house of Canada’s legislature passes a resolution condemning the Ugandan “kill gays” bill. (The Advocate)

Italy – The New York Times uncovers even MORE evidence that Pope Benedict XVI kept himself well-informed of a sexual abuse case in Germany, contrary to past statements by the Catholic Church that sought to minimize then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger’s involvement in cases of priestly child molestation, where the priest was transfered to another parish or diocese instead of being punished and removed from a position where he had access to children. (NY Times)

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