With DADT still ambiguous at best, there’s more in play here than just a pleased Dan Choi after he, to his surprise, was able to re-enlist. As if presaging the end of an inhumane policy, it seems like Uncle Sam, himself, bucks the policy by affirming his interest in Dan. Even better, though, is the electronic statement above, the “earn respect” message playing two ways. On one level, it’s a green light to gay and lesbian recruits to buck the policy and sign up as a self-respecting act. At the same time, directed toward the broader culture, there’s a moral call that the time has come to “do the right thing.”
Gay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell activist Dan Choi stands outside the Times Square Armed Forces Recruiting Center after he reenlisted in the U.S. Army, on October 20, 2010 in New York City. Today the Obama administration petitioned a federal appeals court to suspend a court ruling that overturned the military’s gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.