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Gay Soldiers Could Score 18-Month Halt to Dismissals. Maybe

gillibrand

Could a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell stop-gap measure hit the U.S. Senate as early as Tuesday? If reports out of New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s office are to be believed, then yes.

We’ve been following Sen. Gillibrand’s movements on gay rights since her appointment to fill Hillary Clinton‘s seat. You’ll recall that Gillibrand, once a laissez-faire supporter of same-sex marriage as a U.S. congresswoman, quickly bumped up her support for GLBTs in the 24 hours after joining the Senate; she became a full marriage equality supporterovernight. Also from the beginning: She insisted she supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and DADT.

And then, a few months into the gig, she told constituents that she would definitely have her name on a DADT bill. Officially, she’s working alongside Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office to bring a repeal to the floor; that camp is also hunting for bipartisan support.

But in the meantime comes news Gillibrand plans to amend the Defense Department’s budget authorization bill with an 18-month moratorium on DADT dismissals.

The “pass this as an amendment” strategy would mean senators who favor the Pentagon’s budget will, by default, also join in calling for the 1.5 year hold on DADT. The side effect: We won’t get the clear picture on which senators support DADT’s repeal that we would from a stand alone bill — though for that sort of data, we have lists like this one.

So why an amendment bill that calls for an 18-month moratorium, and not a full on repeal? Likely because Team Gillibrand doesn’t feel they’ve got the votes for it. Thus, putting such a “contentious” amendment on a budget bill would guarantee the Pentagon’s dollars get held up in haggling over gays and our national security. But if the Senate orchestrates an 18-month hold, it gives colleagues that amount of time to organize support for a full repeal; maybe even the president could get in on the lobbying effort?

And what are the chances the language in this amendment could not only call for an 18-month stall, but also a full-blown automatic repeal if legislators don’t re-approve DADT?

For Gillibrand’s part, this would represent a move in keeping her promise to be an ally to the gays. It also comes as Gillibrand faces a tough reelection bid in November 2010, and undoubtedly she’s working to shore up support from New York’s gays and their supporters. Of course if you do the math, if her 18-month bill passes this summer, repealing DADT won’t be an issue to address politically until … after the election. Curious.

By:           editor editor
On:           Jul 13, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 16 Comments
    • denguyfl
      denguyfl

      In the journalistic excellence that we have come to expect, Queerty fails to mention that HRC and SLDN were instrumental in getting Gillebrand’s support for this amendment. Please Queerty we know you have a beef with HRC but I think it is time to let it go when it gets in the way of reporting accuracy.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      You have to wonder if DADT repeal has a snowballs chance in hell of passage.

      There are 255 Democrats in the House and 60 in the Senate. Less than half, 153 according to SLDN, signed up as sponsors to repeal Clinton’s deadly law. No Republican cosponsor can be found in the Senate and I don’t if the 3 House Republicans who supported repeal in the previous Congress got reelected or not.
      The House Democratic leadership is dead set against repeal. According to an article in the Bay Area Reporter

      “A military newspaper reported last week that House Democrats blocked consideration of two measures to repeal the anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy just days before LGBT veterans and their supporters marched to the White House in protest of the ban on gays serving openly in the armed services.
      Congress seems intent on delaying any debate” on the anti-gay military policy known as DADT, according to a report in the June 26 edition of Military Times. The paper said the House Rules Committee blocked consideration of two repeal amendments to the defense authorization bill.”

      Obama, who pretends to be opposed to DADT, sat in the Senate for years and never quite got around to sponsoring a bill to repeal DADT. Nor did Hillary Clinton, his primary opponent.

      DADT transformed old policies into law and because of that it’s not going away easily. Bush and Obama’s Secretary of War Gates admits that money is still being spent to vigorously enforce DADT. Like DOMA, it’s part of Bill Clinton’s legacy of bigotry. It was voted in by an overwhelming majority of bigots in the Senate, 77 to 22, and 273 to 135 in the House, with only a scattering of Democrats and even fewer Republicans voting against it.

      Clinton wants’ to deny his bigotry from time to time, vainly defending himself from the widespread and growing belief that he’s just another bigot like Bush and Obama.

      But more and more often these days Clinton just accepts the fact that most of us consider him a bigot. He unashamedly crossed a trade union and GLBT picket line to speak at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego on Feb. 15. Cleve Jones and other trade union and LGBT activists tried to present him a petition with 30,000 names collected on short notice demanding that he the honor the union/GLBT boycott. He ignored them, pigheadely refusing to even speak with them.

      For bigots on the make money comes first.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Bill Perdue: Actually, its a good question. Surveys show that 70% of the nation is in favor of repeal, but nothing in this country is based off the majority of this country. Repealing DADT would be political suicide for pretty much everyone in a conservative district, and like it or not there are still many more conservative districts than liberal ones. The hope is to educate people in the conservative districts, but the truth is that most of the people that actually vote in these districts are over 60 and steadfast in their believe systems. Our best hope is that those that don’t normally vote (18-30 year olds) but do support our issues will start voting much more and that the over 60 bigot crowd will all die young.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 11:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers
      The Gay Numbers

      Yes it has a strong chance of passing.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @The Gay Numbers: Based on what? The fact that 70% of the country says it supports it? That is not a basis for anything. When you can show me that its not political suicide in the majority of this country to vote for DADT repeal as a congressman/senator then I will agree with you. Rather we like to admit it or not, its still the red states/districts that far out number the blue ones and therefore they call the shots.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      Don’t be fooled, Kids. Perdue AKA Rainbow RED doesn’t actually give a flying fuck about either gays discharged under DADT.

      His agenda, as he used to honestly admit to, is to attack the two major political parties in an effort to get people to join his neo Socialist Worker Party Lite. He’s an equal opportunity hater…Clinton, Bush, Obama….anyone he can exploit to tar and feather anyone not a member of his lunatic fringe.

      One can say MANY nasty things about Clinton and they would be true.

      But what kind of antigay “bigot” issues an executive order in response to Barry Winchell’s murder in the Army [even tho he was only perceived as gay] to add a hate crimes sentencing enhancement to the Uniform Code of Military Justice as Bill Clinton did?

      What kind of antigay “bigot” issues an executive order banning discrimination in federal hiring of civilian gays as Bill Clinton did?

      Perdue is a parasite attempting to feed on the gay community.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      Well, if Gillibrand can get this passed, I’ll vote for her in the NY primary. Otherwise, I’m going with Maloney.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Mikey wants to know “ But what kind of antigay “bigot” issues an executive order in response to Barry Winchell’s murder in the Army [even tho he was only perceived as gay] to add a hate crimes sentencing enhancement to the Uniform Code of Military Justice as Bill Clinton did?”

      Thats easy Mikey, the same kind of bigot that would sign DADT would also sign DOMA and then boast about it with this ad on redneck Dixiecrat christer radio stations: “

      “Protecting religious freedom. It’s the foundation of our nation.

      When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners’ tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton overturned the government’s policy and protected us… It’s not the only time he’s defended our values.

      President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions … The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act… President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it.

      “Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96″

      Mikey Bedwell, nee Leland Francis is a worn out old Clintonista who’s run out of lies and has to resort to 1950’s style redbaiting, channeling J. Edgar Hoover and defending hsi bogot friends Clinton, Bush and Obama from nefarious commies.

      Pathetic.

      And he’ll get worse.

      [img]http://tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:yVajDkwEGms9NM:http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/J-Edgar-Hoover-Obit3may72.jpg/img

      Jul 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      The Obots are wrong. And so is Bedwell. There is no excuse for Obamas now open bigotry. None at all. The problem is that Obama is a Clinton clone.

      Michael (Bedwell), noting the growing disillusilnment with Obama
      wants to run Hillary up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes. He’s thinking comeback in 2012.

      That, to put it mildly, is delusional. But not unexpected for someone whose politics are expressed as idolatry.

      The Clintons are losers. And not just because Obama rubbed their faces in it. Because of their record.

      Fact. Bill Clinton the bigot signed and enforced DADT.

      Fact. Bill Clinton the bigot championed DOMA and boasted about signing it. He’s not spineless, he’s a spineless bigot. Time Magazine noted that

      “By the time Clinton arrived in Chicago for his party’s convention in August, nothing that hinted at liberalism was left hanging on him. When the President, who had begun his term advocating the rights of gays in the military, came around to supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition for gay and lesbian unions, Dole was wide-eyed. “Is there anything we’re for that he won’t jump on?” Dole asked. The answer, essentially, was nothing…”

      Fact. Bill Clinton championed NAFTA and deregulation, laying the groundwork for the loss of millions and millions of jobs in the last year or so.

      Fact. Bill Clinton ordered the murder of nearly half a million Iraqi children by embargoing medical, sanitary and food supplies. This awful infanticide was defended by Clintons UN Ambassador and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, darling of the liberals. Here is a partial transcript of that interview.

      “Lesley Stahl: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

      Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

      Fact. Hillary Clinton sat malevolently on the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart, the most anti-worker corporation in the US, as they busted unions and cut wages.

      Fact. Wal-Mart was one of the leading beneficiaries of NAFTA which Bill Clinton rammed through Congress.

      Fact. Hillary Clinton tried as hard as Obama did to pander to bigoted christers, but Obama was unquestionably sleazier and better at it.

      Fact. Hillary Clinton takes the same bigoted view as Obama, Biden, McCain, Warren, and etc. She opposes SSM and thinks were second class citizens who don’t deserve the right to marry.

      The Clintons betrayed so many people that they became the ultimate political losers and remain so to this day.

      More and more Bill Clinton just accepts that most of us consider him a bigot. He unashamedly crossed a trade union/GLBT picket line to speak at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego on Feb. 15. Cleve Jones and other trade union/LGBT activists tried to present him a petition with hastily collected 30,000 names demanding that he the honor thir boycott. He simply ignored them.

      For bigots on the make, money comes first.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DaveO
      DaveO

      @Bill Perdue: It was voted in by an overwhelming majority of bigots in the Senate, 77 to 22, and 273 to 135 in the House, with only a scattering of Democrats and even fewer Republicans voting against it.

      What are you talking about?

      Of the 22 Senators who voted against DADT, only 4 were Democrats (Boxer, Feingold, Metzenbaum, Wellstone) the other 18 were Republicans. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=103&session=1&vote=00380

      Of the 135 Representatives who voted against DADT, only 15 were Democrats and 120 were Republicans. http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1993/roll565.xml

      This was because, in 1993, DADT was largely perceived of as an improvement for gays serving in the military, and many conservatives were opposed to it for that reason. Only a small handful of Democrats and gay-friendly Republicans voted against it because it remained discriminitory.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John K.
      John K.

      @galefan2004: Correction: Nothing in this country is based off the majority except when a 51.5% majority decides gays can’t marry, or it doesn’t like that the legislature passed a marriage equality bill. Only then does the majority rule.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      If DADT gets suspended for 18 months and Congress lets DADT go back into effect after the 18 months are up, what happens to gay service members who came out during that time?

      Jul 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis

      @Rob:

      Exactly, and…

      What happens if Obama signs an Executive Order stopping GLBT dismissals, and the economy continues to tank (which would be his achilles heel to the MAJORITY of the population, not his handling of GLBT issues, as it is here in the gay bubble) and a Rethuglican gets into the WH in 2012? You can bet on a reversal of that executive order. (=screwed!)

      Congress is beyond pathetic on this. I hope with every cell in my being that Harry Reid is thrown out of office at his next election. And Pelosi is on notice as well.

      If we elect Democrats who don’t act like democrats, what’s the fucking use?

      Jul 13, 2009 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @DaveO: You’re right. I had Democrats and Rpublicans transposed, probably thinking about DOMA, NAFTA or deregulation.

      Jul 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @denguyfl: you said “In the journalistic excellence that we have come to expect, Queerty fails to mention that HRC and SLDN were instrumental in getting Gillebrand’s support for this amendment. Please Queerty we know you have a beef with HRC but I think it is time to let it go when it gets in the way of reporting accuracy.”
      ____________________________________________________________

      HRC has been opposed to fighting for DADT to be repealed for years because they wanted to concentrate on small steps that added nothing to our civil rights and wouldn’t endanger their existance. I.E. if we get full rights, we become like Canada which basically doesn’t have an organization like HRC because there is no need for one. So finally, HRC starts taking heat for it’s position, they start getting attacked even in the Mainstream press where Keith Olberman points out that Joe Solonese sounds like a shill for the Obama White House. They start losing money etc… so FINALLY now they grab on to Service Members legal Defense Networks coatails and hang on for this ride and we are supposed to give them accolades? Sorry, this was SLDN’s baby. HRC was like the kid who never shows up for any of the club events in school but shows up on the day that the yearbook photo is taken so they can tell people they were there. I say Bravo to SLDN and Sen. Gillibrand. Shame on HRC for trying to hog their credit.

      Jul 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Dennis: You said “@Rob:

      Exactly, and…

      What happens if Obama signs an Executive Order stopping GLBT dismissals, and the economy continues to tank (which would be his achilles heel to the MAJORITY of the population, not his handling of GLBT issues, as it is here in the gay bubble) and a Rethuglican gets into the WH in 2012? You can bet on a reversal of that executive order. (=screwed!)”
      __________________________________________________________

      Hi Rob and Dennis, your point is well taken. Basically what the thought is, is that if gays serve openly for that amount of time, it refustes the argument that gays will wreck unit coheasion etc… But absolutly, if Congress chickens out (A huge possibility) the people who came out could very well get screwed.

      Jul 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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