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Less than 24 hours after district court judge Virginia Phillips denied the Obama Administration’s motion to stay the implementation of her order to suspend the ban on out lesbians and gays serving in the military, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay “temporarily in order to provide this court with an opportunity to consider fully the issues presented.”

Oy.  The administration made no new arguments to the 9th Circuit than those it made to the lower court at trial or in their motion to stay the district court’s order.  At trial, in the motion for the stay to the district court, and in their appeal to the 9th Circuit the government has made sweeping yet empty claims that immediate suspension of DADT will have enormous consequences for our troops, yet when pressed they can’t point to one specific consequence.  What they’re asking for, and what they got today, is time.  Time to let the internal Pentagon review to work itself out.

But it’s not like they haven’t had time, and it’s not clear what they’d do with the time they have.  As Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center at the University of California Santa Barbara, said about the government’s arguments:  “The whole point of the ongoing Pentagon study is how to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’- as if we don’t know how to do it.  But look what happened last week?  The military suspended it last week with no training and guess what? Nothing happened.  You don’t need to teach the troops how to interact with gays anymore than you need to train them how to deal with Jews.  People know how to behave with one another.”

It’s hard not to hear an echo of the arguments made in some of the same-sex marriage challenges: “Courts shouldn’t order that the institution open itself up to same-sex couples, let this issue work its way through the legislative process.  We should give this sort of radical reform time.”  But same-sex couples have been marrying in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, California and other places and marriage seems to be holding up pretty darn well.

The Courts seem to be held hostage by a kind of  “Chicken Little” thinking in these cases.  But guess what: the world as we know it hasn’t come to an end when a few homosexuals show up – particularly the kind of homosexuals who want to get married or serve in the military.

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  1. Ninth Circuit Signs Up For "Chicken Little" Approach To Gay Rights and Stays Order Suspending Don't Ask Don't Tell http://wp.me/ploC4-JM

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