East Texans react as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is re-instated

By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KTRE/KLTV) - The battle to end the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is not over yet. This week, the Pentagon announced they would allow openly gay men and women to apply and serve in the military, following a judge ruling the policy unconstitutional. An appeals court ruled Wednesday, however, to re-instate Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Troy Carlyle was the first person to be court martialed under Don't Ask, Don't Tell. An Air Force Captain and graduate from The Air Force Academy, Carlyle was dishonorably discharged.

"Everything I had worked for was reduced in that one moment to the fact that I was gay," Carlyle said. "Not to my performance, not to my talent, not to my leadership skills, but that I was gay."

Last week, a federal judged ruled the law that bars openly gay men and women from the military unconstitutional.

"For the first time in American history, when the judge said, 'You have to let gays in the military,' the military said, 'okay'. So, for the first time, I was thinking, 'Maybe this is the end to it,'" Carlyle said.

But it wasn't the end. The White House requested the policy to stay in place until a study being prepared by Defense Secretary Robert Gates is finished.

"When Obama urged the higher court to abandon that decision, that hurt. Especially since it was one of Obama's campaign promises to let gays in the military. He wants to be the one that gets the touchdown with it," said Carlyle.

"I don't agree with the way it's been handled," said Billy Greer, an East Texas Veteran.  "I think we need to cut to the chase and get it done and get it over with and quit running everybody around the barn."

Both sides in the case have been given until Monday to file arguments for the panel's consideration. The judges will then decide if the temporary stay should be permanent until the lawsuit is resolved in court.

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