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How You Got the White House To Support a DADT Repeal ‘This Year’

After all that haggling today among Gay Inc., the White House, legislators, and the Pentagon, the Obama administration announced it will support an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell this year — but only after the Defense Department finishes its 10-month review.

In a letter Perer Orszag, director of the Office of Personnel and Management, writes Rep. Patrick Murphy, who’s leading the House’s effort to repeal the law, as well as Sens. Carl Levin and Joe Lieberman:

The move follows today’s administration sit-downs with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, and the Human Rights Campaign, reportedly called at the request of the White House. And it is, without question, the White House’s most pronounced statement yet of not just “supporting” a repeal, but working to push it forward.

With Obama’s support, expect to see more vocal backing from Senate and Congress members, who previously may have been wary of crossing Team Obama.

And I think it’s also worth pointing out that we have reached this point because of the bold activism seen in recent weeks, where folks at groups like GetEQUAL showed America’s gay community to be wholly exhausted by the administration’s foot dragging. It was these actions, combined with behind the scenes work performed by SLDN and SU, that has us here — not the tired, old school and demonstratively ineffective strategy employed by HRC.

There is still much work to be done, including convincing lawmakers, getting the Pentagon to “conclude” the right things, and somehow incorporating the opinions of (straight) soldiers and their families into the policy.

That, and this very crucial — and some say asinine — stipulation: Getting Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chairmain Adm. Mike Mullen to sign off on the repeal effort — all criteria the White House is insisting upon for its support, and which you can expect to see in the NDAA, which is expected to be voted on this week. Yes, this effectively puts DADT’s final kill shot in the hands of the military. On the plus side, Gates and Mullen have already voiced their support for repeal. But the very notion that military leaders can now choose whether or not to keep discrimination on the books, even though your elected officials will vote to end it, is problematic to say the least..

But we can get there. And finally, Barack Obama has realized America’s LGBT community is a force he cannot stall and cannot ignore.

By:           Arthur Dunlop
On:           May 24, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 79 Comments
    • whatever
      whatever

      So do we still hate Obama? Still worse than Bush+McCain+Hitler?

      I need guidance on this, queerty.

      May 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      @whatever:

      This just goes to show you that even when you supposedly have POTUS supporting your initiatives, you still have to push and push and push to make them commit. It’s a hell of a lot of work just to get to square one, let alone reach the finish line. It doesn’t happen with just one group pushing — everyone is needed to make it happen.

      May 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      Its like those old “good news, bad news” jokes. I’m glad Team Obama supports the repeal, but the whole “waiting for the review” thing still sounds like a stall tactic.

      Many countries have successfully integrated LGBs into their armed forces. They have policies on the whole range of issues on showering, sleeping, pishing and poopin’, etc.

      I hope this doesnt mean that ENDA is off the table but well i’m a cynic…..

      May 24, 2010 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @randy: That’s obvious to anyone who is a) a student of civil rights history (since prior acts were passed due to pressure from the groups affected by the legislation) and b) common sense. We need the insiders and outsiders creating the pressure, and I think the fact is without Get Equal, then, a compromise would not even have been on the table. Just like without Service Member Defense, there would not have been an insider route to push for the goal.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Joseph Cuneo
      Michael Joseph Cuneo

      @whatever: Has a repeal actually gone through yet? If it does go through will it be implemented? He’s still got a lot to do after being pulled kicking and screaming this far. Our “fierce advocate” shouldn’t have had to been shamed into doing this little.

      And let’s see if DOMA is repealed. And if EDNA and UAFA are passed. And his DOJ stops filing vile, disgusting briefs about gay people in support of DOMA.

      Then, maybe, we can reevaluate the halo’d one. Until then. No more money for Dems and no more votes for candidates wtihout 100% pro gay voting records. And no more excuses for Obama.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wondermann
      wondermann

      you are fooling yourselves if you think GetEQUAL pushed this along.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @wondermann: I am not going to debate you on this. The fact is the street activist, including but not limited to Get Equal, were a factor simply as a matter of looking at coverage in the press, which is not a matter of your subjective opinion. It relies on actually doing things like Google News searches as I have done on days of activism to see the impact in the press, including in major newspaper op eds. See, the problem your argument has is that also the time line, when the inside the belt way groups made their arguments, versus what the White House said, then what the White House felt they had to say after protest incidents, also demonstrably indicate that in fact I am right to say that street activism was at least part of the pressure point for the WH. They didn’t need another LA incident where the press was mostly positive calling out the president on a promise that he clearly made, but was pulling back on implementing. Add to that the pressure that the House leadership like Pelosi felt in SF or other pressure points, and you get what you are seeing. All of this is demonstrable,, and your bare assertion that it is not- well, didn’t even require this post, but I wrote it anyway for those who don’t understand how I could assert that street activism matters. Again, its because one can with the internet now determine the validity of such a statement by the effect it has on public sentiment in the form of news coverage. You can not say the same with your argument.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lanjier
      Lanjier

      I chose Obama over Hillary because I felt he could be our Lincoln. I hope he proves me right by coming through before the midterms. Once that DADT is repealed, we are over the hump. If the Democrats can deliver us a repeal, I think the Midterms will be very good for them.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Lanjier: DADT is hardly the most crucial issue for the gay community. There is also ENDA, which has a greater impact.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike
      mike

      So gay people will now be allowed (after much “reviewing”) to kill innocent civilians abroad? I guess that’s nice.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @mike: Will those people will be saved by two injustices rather than one?

      May 24, 2010 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Baxter
      Baxter

      @mike: Those Taliban guys are just misunderstood, right?

      May 24, 2010 at 10:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 2 · randy wrote, “This just goes to show you that even when you supposedly have POTUS supporting your initiatives, you still have to push and push and push to make them commit.”

      Rather, it shows that Harry Truman was right: as he left office, talking about his successor Dwight D. Eisenhouer, a former 5-star general, Truman said, “Eisenhower’s going to sit here and say, ‘Here I am, President of the United States, leader of the most powerful country on earth, and I give orders …. and nothing happens.”

      In the military, if a general says to jump, they reply “How high?” In Washington, if the president tells the bureaucracy to jump, your stereotypical bureaucrat will simply put the request on a queue and figure that by the time the request reaches the front, they’ll be a new president in office who will want something else.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @B: I see. So you see the president as a bystander rather than a co-equal branch of the government. Of course, the most dangerous thing about what you are saying is that in fact the powers of the president have grown greatly in the last 100 years, and indeed, even more under the Bush and Obama administrations. Thus, the argument is not just false, but dangerous because it leaves the impression that the most powerful branch of government is powerless to control itself much less have any influence. He’s just a puppet of the forces in DC. Poor him. He’s only the president.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin_Activist
      Justin_Activist

      This is how it works.

      Everyone should be thanking our “MLK” Dan Choi for his heroics and brave acts. We should be thanking and supporting GetEQUAL.

      In just a few short months they have proven that demanding is the only thing that works. I hope they continue these protests. We will not be respected until we let people know we will continue to demand and interfere with their lives until they support us.

      This is Civil Rights 101 – Demand and it will be granted.

      LOUDER. STRONGER. BOLDER.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Artist
      The Artist

      Once this goes through, I guess Obama can say “How ya like me now.” PEACELUVNBWILD!

      May 24, 2010 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      @Baxter: Drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan have killed and are killing civilians under the previous administration and the current one. This is a fact.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • That Bitch Téa Delgado
      That Bitch Téa Delgado

      So, D’oh, why doesn’t Obama act like he has all this power? He doesn’t. I’m pretty certain Truman and LBJ are looking at this (either up or down from the vantage point) and shaking their heads in wonder (and shame) at this ineffectual, rule by comittee president.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 14 · D’oh, The Magnificent wrote, “@B: I see. So you see the president as a bystander rather than a co-equal branch of the government.”

      No, I see the executive branch as being similar to an oil tanker, which has a very large turning radius when moving at cruising speed, and the president acting as the “captain of the ship” (where the ship is the executive branch, not the whole government).
      Just because the captain says, “hard right rudder” does not mean the ship is going to immediately change course.

      And yes, he is “only the president”. He’s not a dictator.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paulo
      Paulo

      I totally predicted that GetEqual would try to take credit for getting this to where it is. Even though, without a crystal ball, I laid out this very scenario. “Gay Inc.” knew this was the way it would play out. The Admin and the Dems were not going to go into the fall elections with this hot bowl of fuck sitting on their table. I knew the second HRC sounded a horn of confidence and never let up. I knew the second SU and SLDN were only mildly outraged about the progress, almost a show.

      This has been set in stone since the SOTU.

      But, go ahead GetEqual. Thanks for your three months of service. You’ve moved a mountain.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin_Activist
      Justin_Activist

      @Paulo: You are welcome. More coming soon.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      @wondermann: I agree. GetEqual came extremely late in the game. To think they are mostly responsible for anything is a joke.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LenaKent
      LenaKent

      Peter Orszag is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeffree
      jeffree

      Two questions I’m pondering:
      1) Why wait for the review? Is this prudent or standard pollicy or just stalling? Passing the buck ?

      2)nSo, any bets/ insight/ guesses as to whether this gesture affects the future of ENDA?

      Thanks all!

      May 24, 2010 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      1) The review was not a study to get peoples opinions of the policy, but HOW to implement the policy. But I suspect that yes, it is just to save face by going through the motions.
      2) I dunno…

      May 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin_Activist
      Justin_Activist

      People shouldn’t rest just because we scored a big victory over the White House. Don’t trust them. Join our protests and rallies.

      We have them afraid of confrontation now. We need hold them down and make them deliver. Demand until the laws are passed. Promises don’t mean anything – laws do. Demanding makes laws.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert
      Robert

      Hahahaha, so where are all the motherfuckers who were saying these “pointless acts” of “childlike behavior” that were “outdated” tactics now?

      The fact is, you can not trust your elected representatives. You just can’t. You can elect them, but you have to continue pushing and pushing and yelling louder and louder until they listen. Name a single piece of progressive legislation that has passed that was without a large segment of the population actively fighting for it?

      As for the compromise, I am typically cynical, but I feel this is much better. If this is passed, then the repeal will be law. This will be good for when the republicans gain back control it won’t be stalled even further. The whole bullshit Pentagon study is total bullshit, but hopefully the repeal will be law and IF (a big if) Sec. Gates gets rid of the policy the republicans won’t be able to do shady congressional tactics.

      Even though, I am not being cynical, I am not getting my hopes up. The details about this is still very vague.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Irks
      Irks

      Obama said today he still has some absolute power when Speaking at a military base. If this is true, why won’t he just repeal dodt & enact enda?

      May 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Paulo: Except the people stating that get equal and street activism was a factor are a) people like Pam Spaulding who talked to those at the meeting today (Get equal wasn’t at the meeting) and b) the evidence of news coverage supports the thesis that their efforts led to public pressure.

      All you have is some prediction that amounts to no prediction at all. That political actors are going to want to say that their strategy worked. Duh. The question is whether their argument is valid. The facts such that they are valid. The fact suggests those saying that they didn’t work are invalid. Mostly because you don’t offer any facts as much as try to change the subject to some irrelevant prediction.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Jon: Okay sock puppet: here’s one report already coming out to demonstrate the problem with many of you:

      “I just spoke to one of those in the mix of the discussions about the deal, and I was told that the pressure from outside activists was “110%” responsible for getting the White House off its duff (after all, how many more surprise GetEqual demonstrations could they take?) and that key points weren’t hammered out until the last couple of weeks. So if you hear tales of “months in the works” kind of line, just know it’s the graceful spin machine at work, kiddos.”

      This is from Pam’s House of Blend on the coverage of today’s meeting. The problem here is that you and the rest of the deniers have nothing but denial. You will deny it even now, but the proof for the activists who happen to read this is in the results and what people are saying led to them.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @B: The fac someone gave you a 3 for essentially not understanding how you own structure of government works is disstreessing.

      In fyou rmind, if I speak of the power of the president to influence legislation (Something that is his constitutional required duty – and hence things like the state of the union address) in your mind that’s a dicatorship.

      I have a desire to want to drop you in North Korea so thatyou can see the folly of the game you are playing. But i doubt given your thinking skills that it would work.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Jon: They are worried about the 2010 election.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @That Bitch Téa Delgado: Actually he does act like he has all this power- See Gitmo and other powers. Read a little Glenn Greenwald. These are not my issues , but frame an objective stand point- to argue that the president doesn’t have power when he wants is a joke. The fact you don’t know that he has these powers makes you beneath me. So I won’t continue the exchange. Good luck getting across the road when you have to walk anywhere tomorrow.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      Why does Queerty continue to shit on HRC and lick the soles of GetEqual’s boots?

      Who was at that meeting? SLDN, SU, and HRC. Not GetEqual. Why? Because they’re a bunch of flaming radicals you can’t sit down in a conference room with and have a reasonable discussion.

      I will say one thing — having GetEqual out there doing all their ridiculous fringe shit does make it more attractive for the administration to pay attention to HRC, since the latter then looks far more moderate by comparison. It’s just like leaking the name of a super right- or left-wing person to fuel SCOTUS nominee rumors so that by the time you actually make the nomination your choice looks less crazy.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @D’oh, The Magnificent:

      It is NOT a constitutionally required duty of the President to influence legislation. It’s fully consistent with the Constitution for the State of the Union, as delivered “from time to time,” to merely be a status report on the operations of the executive branch in carrying out Congress’ laws, rather than a huge public shaming session to try to lay out vast policy agendas that more properly belong in the Legislature.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      @D’oh, The Magnificent: Ok douche nozzle. Who exactly were these “outside pressures”? You only assume they were GetEqual. If GetEqual were the masterminds behind all this, then why were they not invited to the meeting. Maybe because they were not a big player in this game to begin with. I bet if for some reason DADT repeal is pushed back toward next year, you will be more than happy to blame any other org., but since this is positive news, you are claiming it a win for Get Equal. I’ll take a line from your handle and tell you “D’OH!!!!”

      May 25, 2010 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jake
      jake

      ahem.. where’s andrew, no GetEQUAL bashing?

      May 25, 2010 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Assuming for the moment that this actually goes through, this is *exactly* how it ought to be done. Pass the law *now,* but word it so that the military (currently run by people who also want DADT to go) can finish working out the details before enacting it. No chance at all (assuming, again, that it actually passes) that it won’t be implemented before a new administration comes along, and the law can be worded in such a way that once the military does enact it, they can’t go back (barring another act of Congress, of course.) Everybody wins, and fairly quickly considering; and while in some ways it’s not as important as, say, ENDA, it does have a bigger impact than just the gay soldiers, etc and their families, and it’s far easier because even the most gullible wouldn’t believe a claim that it “forces” children to be taught by “she-males.”

      May 25, 2010 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      A lot of people are NOT reading the fine print!

      This is virtually a return to 1993 BEFORE DADT!

      Repealing “the law” is NOT the same as ENDING discharges….thanks to this betrayal! They will NOT stop simply when the phony “study” is done. SLDN only says they will “hopefully stop” within a few months after December.

      Bottomline: the Pentagon can continue to shitcan gays AS LONG AS THEY WANT! Six months. A year. Ten years. Forever.

      All they have to do is SAY discharges continue to be necessary for any of the following reasons: “military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.”

      First it was the Commander-in-Chief surrender his powers to the Pentagon…now it’s Congress, too.

      If this passes, the only way Congress could stop them is to repeal THIS new law which is WORSE than the one it’s replacing.

      [img]http://02b4964.netsolhost.com/images/509_1OBAMA-WHOM-DID-WE-ELECT.jpg[/img]

      May 25, 2010 at 1:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Brutus: I see. So you have moved from arguing that its a dictatorship if a president sets the agenda to claiming its not constitutionally required. And we all know that its very logical to argue that if something is not constitutionally required, then its a dictatorship. You are going to rest your argument on that?

      Here’s the problem: You have no fucking idea what you are talking about:

      “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_the_Union_address

      This is something you should have learned in a basic civics course.

      May 25, 2010 at 1:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      Arguing with some of you is like arguing with the school board of Texas. This shit is Civics 101.

      May 25, 2010 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sidney
      Sidney

      It should also be noted that the support also came from rallies, marches, and protests of other organizations across the country doing grassroots campaigns in their cities and states.

      Just cause a group might not have much money as the HRC or GetEqual doesn’t mean their impact isn’t as important.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • W.
      W.

      A Compromise? I thought Obama promised to REPEAL Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, not compromise on it. It was Clinton’s compromise that got us this disaster of a policy in the first place. Gay soldiers can and will STILL BE REMOVED FROM SERVICE. Read the fine print. This
      “compromise” is nothing but another betrayal.

      PATHETIC.

      May 25, 2010 at 6:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Douglas Gibson Jr
      Douglas Gibson Jr

      Now the military is deciding the rules of the country? Hum – military dictatorship in sight – very scary – We are no better off with this compromise than we were before – sold down the river again by LGBT leaders and someone who promised us the world and we get Detroit!

      May 25, 2010 at 6:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • W.
      W.

      The House and Senate will pass legislation this year that provides that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be considered repealed if and when the following happens:

      1. The Secretary of Defense receives the “study.”
      2. The President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs certify that:
      – They have considered the recommendations in the study
      – DOD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations needed to implement a repeal
      – The implementation of the repeal is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention.

      Current policy will remain in place until the above conditions are satisfied. And if the above conditions are never satisfied, the current DADT policy will remain in place.

      There is nothing in the legislation that says the repeal must happen.

      http://gay.americablog.com/2010/05/text-of-dadt-repeal-legislation.html

      May 25, 2010 at 6:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC
      WalkderDC

      No. 1 · whatever

      So do we still hate Obama?
      ____________________________________

      Our Fierce Advocate, who supposedly said he wanted to repeal DADT was forced into grudgingly supporting this amendment because Congress had the votes to push it through. He also made sure that there were stipulations to delay it, to put every roadblock possible in front of it. But he knew it was a done deal, because The Senate Armed Services Committee and the House were going to put a repeal onto the Defense Authorization bill, If they had done that, then Obama’s hands would be tied, this way he gets to put in some of the delays.

      May 25, 2010 at 7:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • That Bitch Téa Delgado
      That Bitch Téa Delgado

      Man, D’oh, you are an incredibly unpleasant person. You do know that you can frame your arguments without insulting people, right?

      May 25, 2010 at 7:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @That Bitch Téa Delgado: No, I really can’t. If you are going to reduce the level of thinking to the point that basic civics is no longer a part of conversations, that hurts discourse far more than my calling you out on it. I can take you calling me names. I can not take ignorance about how your own system of governance works. That ignorance is either willful in the sense that you could have googled what you were saying before saying it (but just don’t give a fuck enough to know what you are talking about beyond protecting the present presidnet) or deliberately design to tie others up in your inanity. Its like talking to the person who said that they wanted the government to take their hands off private health care by not touching medicare. There’s only so much polite in that situation, and, frankly, it doesn’t work on folks who are really rude like those posting here. If you feel insulted, it’s because like those ignorant people you are being told that your opinion (which in a consumer culture you are told is always right) is in fact not just wrong, but so wrong as to make one question how you can function in a normal sense of the word in life.

      May 25, 2010 at 8:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leonard
      Leonard

      @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: Is there nobody, not a single soul other than you that can carry on my legacy? If it’s just you, can you please stop? You make me feel like Jesus does when Evangelicals try to represent him.

      Thanks,
      Leonard

      May 25, 2010 at 9:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gaylib
      gaylib

      What repeal? Are you really that fucking stupid??? No wonder we’re second class citizens, our entire community is made up of mindless bleating sheep, and that includes the moron at queerty who wrote this crap. Jesus Christ, you people make me sick.

      May 25, 2010 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)
      DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

      I’ve read, as I’m sure others have, the amendment. It’s not terribly helpful.

      Leonard raises a good point. If DADT is repealed and nothing pro-gay is put in place, we’re back to where we were in 1993. As someone else noted, if no one gets around to finishing the study, no repeal or amendment of anything. The status quo is maintained.

      I’m not sure why everyone is applauding this. The proposed amendment does nothing except cause more delays…

      May 25, 2010 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 51 · DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)
      I’ve read, as I’m sure others have, the amendment. It’s not terribly helpful.

      Leonard raises a good point. If DADT is repealed and nothing pro-gay is put in place, we’re back to where we were in 1993. As someone else noted, if no one gets around to finishing the study, no repeal or amendment of anything. The status quo is maintained.
      ________________________

      The issue is, if there is nothing mandating discrimination and the policy in the military against gays serving is removed, then there is no actual rule against it. If the army turns around and tries to kick somebody out, then it gets thrown into the courts and that is the last thing in the world the military wants.

      May 25, 2010 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • pithyscreenname
      pithyscreenname

      I need to stop reading comments on LGBT blogs after anything that the rest of the world would see as LGBT-positive, because on LGBT blogs its like upside down world.

      Presuming that the Senate and House pass the language, we are on the way to seeing DADT become a thing of the past.

      I’d really like to believe that an organization like the Army can change on a dime- but that is not the history of the Army, nor is it a responsible way to implement change.

      Desegregation did not happen in the army in one fell swoop, it took years to full desegregate the army.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desegregation#Desegregation_in_the_military

      I for one am damn happy – and pleased with the progress I am seeing so far.

      I really hope all the people who are bitching and angry remember this feeling in November when Republicans could possibly take back the House and make the Senate a lot more divided. I’m curious how quickly ENDA will move under a Republican controlled house.

      In two years, we have seen not only the passage of the Hate Crimes Bill but we are almost on the edge of the destruction of DADT. Even if he is not our “fierce advocate” I will sure as hell take it.

      May 25, 2010 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Truth B. Told
      Truth B. Told

      Well, this is not the 1940’s and gays and lesbians are already serving in the military (as they have since the beginning of time), and the majority of enlisted men and women in the US(according to most polls) already know of openly G/Ls in their units in combats zones and they don’t have a problem with it.

      The stalling tactics are a last gasp effort of expressing “official” disapproval of homosexuality. It’s like the old Southern bigot reluctantly having to take down the “Whites Only” sign at his restaurant in Alabama after the 1964 Civil Right Act.

      Obama and his puppet-masters in Pentagon are a disgrace to the human race. It’s pathetic that he has to be drug kicking and screaming back to his own empty rhetoric (and forced to put up or shut up) when the very real threat of losing control of Congress may be mostly due to how he pissed off the base of his own party — something repulsive Republicans are very loath to do to their own kind. It seems fascists have more loyalty than so-called (in name only) “progressives” do in regard to their supporters.

      We don’t “owe” Obama anything, he owes us. We took him to the ball and he went dancing with everybody else there instead.

      American businesses do not make it a habit to reward failure (unless they get tax-funded bailouts, of course), so why should we reward failure, incompetence and apathy on Obama’s part.

      I see Obama as a one term president. It may be difficult to hear, but the twin shoulders of White guilt and Liberal optimism wont be there for him to ride on next time to the Presidency.

      A viable, progressive, third party alternative is the only last great hope for America. Otherwise, we’re doomed to the repulsive spectacle of Republican-lite corporate lackeys (i.e. OBAMA and the DNC) or the Republican Bat-Shit Crazies (i.e. all of the current Republican Bat-Shit Crazies in Congress).

      …Or, how about a pox on both their houses? Let’s just move on to something that affords us a little dignity. If American Jews (about 3% of the US population) said they were going to support (say, for example) the Green Party, the Democrats would be crapping themselves to get them back. So why are we so fucking weak? Why are we so afraid to use the power we have as well?

      It’s time to stop letting the political schoolyard bullies scare us into submission. Isn’t it? It’s time to grow up, and to grow a pair.

      ==================================
      In response to No. 53 · pithyscreenname who wrote: “Desegregation did not happen in the army in one fell swoop, it took years to fully desegregate the army.”

      ================================

      How about we get on board the twenty-first century and leave the twentieth behind?

      May 25, 2010 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)
      DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

      @Cam:

      Actually, with no discrimination protection in place, that works wonderfully for the military, Cam. The higher courts have been very friendly to the military’s right to run itself as it sees fit. The courts, as a rule, have NOT been friendly towards knocking down DADT.

      -in 2009, James Pietrangelo II challenged his discharge, and, under the rational basis test used by the courts to determine whether laws which discriminate against GLB citizens pass Constitutional muster, his appeal was denied in the Appeals Court as the law was rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion. The US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal.

      -Margaret Witt on got the Appeals Court to acknowledge that the military must show that discharging her would further the goals of troop readiness and unit cohesion. That circuit refused to declare the law unconstitutional, either.

      How is this negatively impacting the military when the Courts are refusing to determine whether or not DADT is constitutional? Are you really so naive as to think that by eliminating DADT without creating a nondiscrimination policy that the Courts are going to be sympathetic to the discharge of GLB citizens when all the government has to show is a rational basis for the discharges? How do you think that study will go, Cam? I can see it now, that study comes back, bites the LGB community in the butt when it’s determined that enough active duty soldiers are uncomfortable, and gets waved around in a Courtroom as support for discharging GLB citizens under the rational basis test.

      Remember, Cam, while there won’t be anything mandating discrimination, there won’t be anything to PROHIBIT discrimination, either. There are no legal protections in this proposed amendment which prohibit the discharge of GLB soldiers, airmen, sailors, or marines based on sexual orientation.

      May 25, 2010 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Cam:

      Actually, with no discrimination protection in place, that works wonderfully for the military, Cam. The higher courts have been very friendly to the military’s right to run itself as it sees fit. The courts, as a rule, have NOT been friendly towards knocking down DADT.
      _________________

      They have been that way because they have used DADT as a “Sense of Congress”. With Congress voting on the repeal of that, it takes away that umbrella from the Military. It removes the anti-gay policies. The Military can’t kick gays out without a policiy saying that they can. If they try to do it, that is where they get nailed in court on it.

      May 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)
      DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

      @Cam:

      There are NO legal protections afforded to GLB servicemen in this Amendment. There are no non-discrimination clauses. As the Palm Center’s Belkin notes, this could be overturned by a Republican administration next year.

      The military world is NOT treated like the civilian world, and I think you’re missing that point. Or you choose to ignore it, as many civilians do. With no non-discrimination provisions in place, the Pentagon can do whatever it likes. End of discussion. The 9th Circuit got it wrong, Cam. It, not surprisingly, made up some legal standard which, by the way, a good military prosecutor can meet.

      You also forget there are any number of ways to discharge a GLB servcemember without pointing to ones sexual orientation. We have a woman in Iowa who was harboring a fugitive. Ok, fine, forget she’s a lesbian, she was harboring a fugitive and obstructed a police investigation. We have a male officer in the Air Force accused of rape; that stuff isn’t going to go away too easily any more if the Pentagon says so. A friend of mine is facing discharge under “conduct unbecoming a soldier” instead of DADT. Out of the frying pan and into the fire! You can always fall back on “sodomy”, since the Uniform Code of Military Justice won’t be Amended, only DADT goes.

      The mistake you and many others are making in this discussion is looking at the military as if it’s a Fortune 500 corporation bound by the same laws civilian business is. It is NOT. If the military wants to kick all the Queers out and there is no non-discrimination clause in place preventing them from doing so, it’ll happen directly, and if there’s too much of a clamor, it’ll happen indirectly.

      This is useless and pointless without a solid non-discrimination clause in place. I see so many legal loophooles it’s scary.

      May 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12):

      DR. Trust me, I think that the White house’s version of this bill is a pile of whatever. But my issue is, that no policy is better than one that specifically forces them to discriminate.

      Without a policy in place, they will have to dance around etc… So no, it isn’t much better, but the mandate to discriminate is gone. However, frankly I think that the White House will just keep on claiming that all the phony conditions they insisted be inserted, are never met and refuse to sign off. If Obama has his way this policy will not be repealed I’m afraid.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin_Activist
      Justin_Activist

      This is how it works.

      Everyone should be thanking our “MLK” Dan Choi for his heroics and brave acts. We should be thanking and supporting GetEQUAL.

      In just a few short months they have proven that demanding is the only thing that works. I hope they continue these protests. We will not be respected until we let people know we will continue to DEMAND and interfere with their lives until they support us.

      We finally have Obama afraid of us. He is acting on our demands.

      This is Civil Rights 101 – Demand and it will be granted.

      LOUDER. STRONGER. BOLDER.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin_Activist
      Justin_Activist

      We are going to interfere with the President tonight in SF.

      Dan Choi is right:

      “Demanding doesn’t compromise.” “Do not celebrate compromise, do not post Mission Accomplished’ banners, DADT is not DEAD.”

      You’re not fooling us Mr. President. This isn’t repeal.

      Demanding = progress.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MAWM
      MAWM

      @Justin_Activist: If only Dan Choi (or anyone else in this community for that matter) had real negotiation skills, maybe this would be a positive turn of events. It could have been a stepping stone to real repeal. But to throw up your hands in celebration at the first sign of movement is just plain stupid. It sets the bar very, very low. Now we’ve got a repeal that still forces gay soldiers into the closet, and it has the seal of approval of gay inc. and gayblogs.org (queerty, towleroad, americablog). Gays go back to being docile sheep once again. And the status quo remains. If this is acceptable in terms of DADT repeal, do any of you really think we’re going to get anything even close to repeal of DOMA? Of course not. In fact, the “non discrimination” wording not only allows for the pentagon to resume gay witch hunts at any time they see fit, it further strengthens the governments investment in maintaining the status quo with DOMA. We have not only been failed by our Democratic allies, but those who pretend to be the voices of our own community. It is horribly sad, and beyond pathetic.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)
      DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

      @Cam:

      The mandate is gone, and we’re left with the spirit of the mandate, which is even worse. Complete and unfettered power in the Pentagon’s hands. Ugh.

      At least we agree that this amounts to a dog and pony show for the administration to dangle in front of the GLB community.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      @jake: LOL Jake I was thinking the same thing!

      May 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin_Activist
      Justin_Activist

      @MAWM: Activists made the President repeal DADT. That was our goal. We should celebrate. We are going to keep his feet in the fire of demanding.

      They should invite Dan Choi to the White House celebration announcing the end of DADT. He should be able to go there unshackled because he has removed the handcuffs that deny our equal rights.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MAWM
      MAWM

      Let’s nip this in the bud right now. Obama DID NOT repeal DADT. He supports a compromise that would repeal DADT after the completion of an ambiguous and undefined “study”, with no time limit on its completion. Then it must be approved by not only Obama, but Gates and Mullen as well. At that point the authority to determine whether gays and lesbians can serve would revert to the pentagon as it was in 1992. The compromise specifically states that it will not include a non-discrimination policy against gays and lesbians. Not to mention the fact that it does nothing to halt ongoing discharges of service members or address the injustice done to the hundreds who have been discharged under Obama’s watch. This is politics at its worst. DADT 2.0. That ANY members of our community would support this is a shame and a disgrace.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      This is a tempest in a teapot.

      Nothing is passed. Nothing is decided.

      Bill Clintons DADT is not repealed and the only chance it has if we have more mass marches and direct actions.

      DADT is being ‘studied’.

      The only studies we need are these;
      First is when and where to convene an International War Crimes Tribunal to investigate genocide in Iraq and mass murder in Palestine, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      Secondly, we should poll the soldiers and ask their opinion about immediate and permanent withdrawal from US colonies and the 750-1,000 US bases that dot the world.
      [img]http://viralpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/soldiers_shame.jpg[/img]

      Don’t enlist. Don’t fight. Don’t translate.

      [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CvbECLZy9Mk/SW4bS92oUxI/AAAAAAAAAKE/IWz823ESZTA/s320/Bush+-+Uncle+Sam+wants+you+to+die+in+foreign+desert.jpg[/img]

      May 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PopSnap
      PopSnap

      Just in time for a war with North Korea?

      :/

      May 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @pithyscreenname:The debate is not about the army changing on the drop of a dime. the issue is about the president trying to punt the issue of repeal and implementation. Now, if he follows through on what he says he is going to do, we will believe him then. BUT, until then, he’s given us absolutely not indication that his word is his bond. The idea that he can’t just push this off indefinitely is where the idiots on your side embaras yourself. I don’t think he will punt it after Dec 2010, but we can’t be sure. Anyone claiming to be sure is selling something, and that’s the entire concern by gay rights advocates- that he will use implementation reports as a pretext to never implement and to leave it in propectual study. since this has been said so many times on so many blogs, I can only assume you have an agenda outside of debating what is actually being said.

      May 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @pithyscreenname:

      The fact that you’re willing to accept less than you deserve saddens me. We deserve better, and the constant settling for crumbs means that we’ll never be full citizens.

      Obama promised a repeal. He promised fierce advocacy. He’s not living up to his hype, which means that he’ll be judged accordingly when he’s up for re-election, and I have no problem saying that if this nonsense drags out, I will not vote for him or any other Democratic incumbent who made promises s/he won’t keep.

      November will not be pleasant for incumbents, and games like this are making it worse. Of course, folks like you continue to support these non-advocates because you’re afraid of the Republican boogeyman, and that’s why we’ll never get anywhere.

      If we won’t stand up for ourselves, who will?

      May 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • whatever
      whatever

      @PopSnap: And Iran. :/

      So, now we won’t have being gay as an excuse for fight another needless imperialist war. In a bit of gallows humor, I always say that when we go to war against these countries, everyone calling for the repeal of DADT, will ask for its reinstatement.

      May 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 31 · D’oh, The Magnificent wrote, “@B: The fac someone gave you a 3 for essentially not understanding how you own structure of government works is disstreessing.”

      Before lecturing people you might want to turn on a spelling correcter! Aside from that, however, your “3” is now a “9” or “10” depending on which comment you mean, and quite frankly, Harry Truman’s wisecrack about how the executive branch really works are far more informed than yours.

      May 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/05/24/national/w125451D08.DTL has an important update: “Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican considered a critical vote on the issue, says she will support legislation that would repeal the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.”

      It seems the compromise was necessary to get the votes needed to get something passed. It may not be everything everyone wants, but it seems to be what is achievable currently. The compromise was also necessary because “Some conservative Democrats on the panel have been reluctant to swing behind the measure because they want to give the Pentagon more time to study the policy change.”

      May 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Edfu
      Edfu

      Richard Socarides: “This is NOT repeal with delayed implementation. It is conditional future repeal.”

      This bears repeating: CONDITIONAL.

      This also bears repeating: FUTURE, and there is no set timetable or deadline.

      And this bears repeating, from Lt. Dan Choi today: “DADT is not dead.”

      May 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      I have been traveling and unable to comment on this supposed development. There sin’t much to comment on. It’s not repeal and it’s not even a path to repeal.

      This is an effort by Gay Inc. and the Democrats to “look good” and to “look like they are doing their best.” A supposed compromise – that doesn’t change anything – is NOT progress. It is grandstanding in order to be able to seek donations.

      Equality is not “negotiable.” DADT should be repealed. This compromise suggests that the Pentagon should decide AFTER they complete a study. We KNOW what this “study” will say: don’t repeal.

      There is nothing to celebrate. There is no guarantee of repeal – there is only delay. This issue will still be here after the mid-terms. THAT was the Plan.

      While I have disagreed with Dan Choi’s (GetEQUAL inspired actions) I agree with his assessment – this isn’t a deal. It isn’t repeal. It isn’t progress.

      May 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      Senator Scott Brown has decided to Vote “NO” on DADT Repeal – even with this silly “compromise.” Currently, there are only 57 confirmed votes for repeal. It will fail.

      But, we’re supposed to think “they really, really gave it a good try.”

      Sorry HRC – and the rest of Gay Inc. – we don’t trust your word. You are trying to raise money – that is your incentive, NOT our equality.

      May 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      FROM CNN:

      In the Senate Armed Services Committee, however, a source involved in vote counting told CNN that Democratic leaders currently only have 13 firm “yes” votes. Fifteen are required for passage. The source identified West Virginia’s Robert Byrd, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson and Indiana’s Evan Bayh as Democratic holdouts.

      One prominent GOP moderate on the committee, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, issued a statement Tuesday indicating his opposition to the Democratic plan.

      Byrd and Nelson are confirmed “NO” votes. It dies in committee. They had hoped to get Scott Brown.

      May 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @D’oh, The Magnificent:

      (1) You are conflating my response with someone else’s. I said nothing about dictatorship.

      (2) “I can not take ignorance about how your own system of governance works.” This, and your righteous tirade about idiocy, Google, and basic civics courses make me wince. You really think you’re right, and that anyone who disagrees with you is illogical and stupid. Unfortunately, it is in fact you who are not being logical. The State of the Union is customarily done each year, but could be done semi- or bi-annually or anything else. Furthermore, the constitutional directive is, as you said, to “recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” To RECOMMEND to THEIR consideration. In other words, the President reports on how things have been going and in the process of doing so says, “By the way, our on-the-ground experience in trying to carry out this policy suggests we might be able to achieve the goal better in Y way instead of X.” Recommending policy is not the same as setting or crafting it. Congress may by all means solicit the Executive’s assistance–and in modern practice, they tend to go far beyond that and just say, “You know what, you handle it.” But that doesn’t make it a constitutional imperative, and it’s not even necessarily normatively desirable.

      I have degrees in this. You might try engaging rather than puffing yourself up to give an ill-advised dismissive lecture.

      May 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)
      DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

      Drat, they picked up an extra vote to get this out of committee. I really hope that Congress sees through this, although I’m not holding my breath….

      May 26, 2010 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmi
      Jimmi

      Just say no to War. I thought we would end this farce of a war.

      May 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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