The Advocate pulled rank after Sunday’s Democratic Debate when they interviewed a number of the presidential candidates on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. Read the results, after the jump…
While Governor Bill Richardson and Senator Joseph Biden vowed to repeal the discriminatory policy, Dennis Kucinich – the only candidate who supports same-sex marriage – took a look at the larger picture:
It starts with standing up for marriage equalityâ€¦ the fact is the underlying issue of marriage equality is what truly establishes rights for our people. When you have marriage equality, issues like â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ disappear. As long as you donâ€™t have marriage equality, you have a two-tiered society, one with rights for one group of people, and not rights for another. I want full rights for people who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgenderâ€”full rights, period. We can set a higher tone in our policy, if itâ€™s not an issue in our larger society, then itâ€™s not an issue in our military.
Senator Mike Gravel, meanwhile, took a second to blast Senator Hillary Clinton‘s convoluted response to the matter:
Bill Clinton was nothing but a wimp and his wife joined him in that. She now says [the policy] was transitionalâ€”this was never transitional.
Senator Clinton apparently didn’t have time to chat with The Advocate – she sent a campaign aid, as did the other “big” candidates, Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards.
While all the candidates want to shoot Don’t Ask down, Steve Ralls from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network points out not many of understand the necessary legislative process. Sappho-journo Kerry Eleveld elaborates:
SLDNâ€™s Steve Ralls said that some degree of confusion over whether an executive order could eliminate the policy is warranted since DADT was put into place a by a Congressional vote and a presidential signature.
â€œThere has never been a presidential executive order that attempted to overturn law,â€ he explained. â€œIn general, executive orders create law, they do not repeal or modify the laws. So itâ€™s an untested principal for the executive branch to alter a congressional mandate via executive order.â€
Biden and Gravel both insisted they’d issue an executive order. When Gravel learned he may not be able to use his presidential powers for such a purpose, he responded, “Well, you just watch me.” Oh, we will, Gravel. That is if you win the election, which we doubt…