in the dark

If There’s a Plan to Repeal DADT Next Year, HRC Doesn’t Know About It


Because America’s lawmakers are pussies, the only way to get them to approve on gay rights legislation is to pass it stapled to Defense Department bills. Which is just how Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is going to get killed next year, says one House Democrat with a tendency to shout.

Rep. Barney Frank says 2011’s Pentagon spending bill will carry the end of DADT — just like how this year’s bill carried the Matthew Shepard Act. “You can’t do the standalone bill,” says Frank. “It belongs in the defense authorization.”

Given that we are not D.C. insiders, we weren’t aware of any plans to do this — especially since Frank’s own colleague, Rep. Patrick Murphy, is working on a standalone DADT repeal. And in the Senate, while nobody has officially taken up the cause, the White House is supposedly angling to get Sen. Joe Lieberman on board.

But you know who are D.C. insiders? The fine folks at the Human Rights Campaign. Who, amusingly, appear to have no idea this strategy was even on the table.

Asked about Frank’s prediction for the repeal strategy, Allison Herwitt, legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, said her organization “always takes its cues from its congressional allies.”

“They’re the ones that write the legislation and obviously [the defense authorization] would be a great bill to have repeal be a part of,” she said. “That’s where it should be.”

That’s where it should be? Ohhh, so this tactic is party of that “road map to equality” you keep insisting you have, but won’t tell anyone about. Is anyone at the wheel over there?

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #allisonherwitt #barneyfrank #don'taskdon'ttell(dadt) stories and more


  • Brian

    HRC doesn’t have an LGBT strategy. Holding the defense spending bill “hostage” in order to force-feed an LGBT issue is NOT progress.

    Maybe it’s fairly called an accomplishment, but certainly nothing to be proud about.

    HRC simply looks for events – good or bad – that enable their fund-raising. They are not trying to create equality – they are making sure they stay in business. The longer, the better.

  • Puck

    oh, look Barney Frank came through for the gays. Smoke that you naysayers. Yay for Barney.

  • Brian NJ

    HRC — always on the receiving end. It is bad enough that they are prostitutes for the DNC, it is even worse that they are clueless about getting paid up front. No wonder our rights always wind up dead in the dumpster.

  • Kdogg

    Silly Queerty, trix are for kids!

    You write as if we live in a world without politics. An insider only remains an insider if they don’t broadcast what’s on the inside.

    Great article though. Thank goodness the end is in sight. Hang on LBGT Vets! I’m wearing my rainbow/american flag combo for you today! Thank you for your service.

  • RS

    I’ve never been a fan of tacking on unrelated issues to other bills, especially appropriations bills, though as a former lobbyist I know it happens routinely. That said, at least there’s a logical basis for coupling DADT with a military appropriations bill.

  • poster

    DADT was attached to a Defense Authorization bill in 1993. It’s only fitting it will be killed via one too. And HRC is right not to broadcast its legislative strategy. It wouldn’t be very strategic if they did.

  • andy_d

    @ Puck:

    WHEN/IF it happens, THEN I will believe it.

  • Rich

    Meanwhile, gay and lesbian servicemembers suffer through another year of lies and deception in their personal lives in order to serve their country.

    Does anyone really believe that Congress is going to vote to repeal DADT one month before contentious 2010 elections? I have no confidence in Rep. Frank, or any other member of Congress, that they will have the guts to make that vote — regardless of the legislative tactic employed.

    Rep. Frank’s are nothing more than an effort to kick this can further down the road, buy some time, and then hope that the gay and lesbian community accepts his apologies next year when he explains that the political environment and elections are just too toxic to risk Democratic congressional seats on a vote for gay civil rights.

    Every day, gay and lesbian servicemembers are deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. They go with the knowledge that their possible death on the battlefield will not be directly communicated to their same sex partners. They go with the knowledge that their same sex partners get none of the homefront support that other military spouses and families receive. They go to the battlefield with the burden of lying to their chain of command as the price for service. It’s time to end this policy now.

  • Norm D Plume

    Hey, Puck, pull your head out of your ass. DADT is still the law of the land. Frank ain’t done shit yet. Quit sucking his cock and fight for your rights.

Comments are closed.