dispatch: iraq

Just-A-Joe: The DADT War Isn’t Over

Thursday saw the successful votes approving the inclusion of both Congressman Murphy and Senator Lieberman’s amendments to the House and Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). With this came the celebration of many who have been working tirelessly to see this through. At the same moment in the middle of Baghdad, I was celebrating as well. It was not even a month ago I was sitting in Senator Claire McCaskill’s office in Washington discussing this option with her legislative assistant. Due to the letter Secretary Gates had submitted to Representative Skelton voicing his opposition to any legislative action being taken prior to the Pentagon review, even our supporters were weary of including any repeal language in the NDAA. And so the infamous compromise was born.

In Senator Lieberman’s version there are three provisions that must be met prior to a repeal implementation. Number one is that President Obama sends a “certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense. and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” stating that the three have a) “considered the recommendations contained… and the proposed plan of action.” In addition, b) certifying that DOD has “prepared the necessary policies and regulations.” The final item being c) that the study shows that implementation of repeal will not harm “military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention.”

I personally would love it if the President would sign an Executive Order repealing DADT and the review by the Pentagon today. It would probably save my job, as DADT repeal may come too late for my own case. Even after the consideration of becoming one of the last victims of this policy, I have come to accept this. These two amendments are honestly the most logical option to satisfy the involved leaders and the LGBT community

Another benefit of the delayed implementation plan is the respect that the result will see. By giving the final sign off to the leaders in the defense community, we are able to obtain a broader support group. Alex Nicholson wrote in an opinion piece for CNN.com, that gaining the support of the Pentagon in this amendment was “a critical requirement for any DADT repeal legislation.”

Senator Byrd, who vehemently opposed the ability for gay and lesbian soldiers to serve at all in 1993, ended up voting in favor of the repeal plan this time around. He did so under the condition that the amendment was further revised to include a 60-day review period for Congress to evaluate the reports following the Pentagons reviews completion, which is due December 1st. This further extends our time until we see full repeal of the law until around January 30, 2011. Although this seems bad at first glance, I was happy to see the addition. By doing so, we have a set date as to when we should see a full plan for implementing repeal of the policy manifest.

I support the individuals whom are opposed to this measure, and who are calling for full repeal now, and I would be there beside them were I not confined to the dessert. I believe that they need to continue to do so, and continue to keep the pressure on our nations leaders. I believe also that simultaneously, while keeping the strong direct action methods in place, we can concurrently keep the momentum to pass the National Defense Authorization Act as it stands presently.

Therefore I would like to remind all that though this was a successful step forward, this is not over. In fact, this has taken our focus from the six swing votes in the Armed Services Committee of the House and Senate. Our focus is much wider now, as we much reach out to all members of both the Senate, and the House. We must fight harder than we have ever before. We are already facing threats of filibustering. As we grow ever closer to the moment when I can finally reveal who I am instead of using this pen-name, our opposition is growing momentum as well. This fight has only begun and as we saw today is going to get uglier than we are used to.

Finally, thank you for your support throughout this movement to repeal. The relationships I have built have benefited me greatly. As an active duty service member it has been so uplifting to see the outpour of civilian support, and I still need you. My partner needs you. And the tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops still serving alongside of me in these two war zones need you. We are not all able to voice out our thoughts and without the broad base that is you, we would not be where we are. Continue this trend and soon we will abolish the antiquated discriminatory policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

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  • Lanjier

    Well said.

  • Cam

    I’m pleased with this, but honestly, I won’t be cheering until it is finally repealed. I’ve seen lots of things almost passed, or start to be passed only to be blocked last min. If Some GOP Senators decide to filibuster a final vote will Obama and the Dems be able to push it through? I’ve got my fingers crossed!

  • jason

    The Pentagon is not a law unto itself. The Pentagon is the servant of the people, the American people. The American people have already said that DADT has to go. Every single poll on the issue shows it.

    Therefore, the Pentagon needs to abide by the people’s will.

  • Jason_Activist

    We have to keep demanding until we get Repeal. No more promises. A promise from Congress is no better than a promise from Obama.

    This isn’t victory, it is simply deferred until the end of the year and then the Pentagon will decide, along with Senator Byrd.

    When Dan Choi is starving and more GetEQUAL activists spend time in jail people will realize we have been tricked.

    So you decide: Trick or Treat? That’s the question.

    Demanding = Rights

  • Taylor Siluwé

    So many whiners and Obama loathers don’t want to see this as measured, calculated progress. Apparently they think major legislation and changes to the American status quo is akin to ordering a Happy Meal.

    To quote a great icon of the hapless, “Good grief.”

  • Bill Perdue

    DADT is not repealed. If it ever is it will just end Clinton’s codification of military bigotry in law. Since the christer officer corps is still in charge anti-GLBT and anti-female harassment, discrimination and violence will go on and on.

    Obama’s terrorist wars of mass murder of civilians against Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will go on and on until the US is defeated.

    Don’t be a damn fool. Don’t enlist. Don’t fight. Don’t translate.

  • Sine

    People can say what they want about it, but this will repeal DADT. It may be in a half-hearted, slimy, political way, but what does it matter as long as it happens?

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


    Because if it isn’t done right, we’re back where we were in 1993. We needed the nondiscrimination language, and that was compromised away.

  • richard alvarez

    good article i just got done posting something along the same lines on some blind reporting i saw at cnn and others.

  • W.

    This “compromise” is a sham. And it will not lead to gay soldiers serving openly and in fact may do great harm not only to repeal efforts but to gay soldiers themselves. We should all remember the case of Barry Winchell (I’ll be surprised if the Pentagon study doesn’t bring it up)

    Barry Winchell was an infantry soldier in the Army who began to date the male-to-female transgendered showgirl, Calpernia Addams. Two fellow soldiers began spreading rumors about the relationship and Winchell became a target of harassment (which his superiors seemed to do little if anything to stop). The harassment led to a fight between Winchell and a soldier named Calvin Glover. Winchell bested Glover and Glover became the butt of jokes for losing the fight. Glover would later take a baseball bat to Barry Winchell’s skull while Barry lay sleeping, killing him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Winchell

    Cases like Winchell’s are rare but that won’t matter. It happened. And that’s all the enemies of repeal will need. And since this pathetic excuse of a “compromise” does not include any type of non-discrimination policy that clearly spells out what is expected of all soldiers – then openly gay soldiers can and will still face harassment from homophobic soldiers, as well as from unit commanders who allow a virulent anti-gay climate on base – and this can and will lead to problems with “military readiness.”

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    The huge and DANGEROUS mistake even if those who say this will be the “end of DADT” are right is that the “end of DADT” is NOT the same as the end to DISCHARGES.

    Because the bigots succeeded in trashing the DISCRIMINATION ban which was in the five-year old House bill and the parallel bill introduced in the Senate in March, this “path” that optomists keep touting COULD lead to a different destination than what they believe: the end to discharges.

    Because NOTHING in the amendments that just passed prevent it, the path could instead lead to the military simply returning to their internal directives that banned gays for over 60 years and resulted in over 100,000 discharges. A homohating Congress at the time simply came up with “DADT” to block Clinton’s plan to issue an Executive Order that would have overridden those existing Pentagon policies.

    Is it not the obvious question WHY would the White House and Pentagon have insisted on the nondiscrimination clause being removed IF they don’t want to continue to have the power to discriminate?

    After being involved in the fight for 35 years, this is my conclusion of what just happened:


  • Taylor Siluwé

    No 10. W

    Winchell’s cowardly murder of Glover has more to do with society and the military’s tacit approval of homo hatred. This is more evidence of why the policy should change. A man driven to murder because his masculinity was so tenuous that be whipped by a man who was not totally hetero says more about society than gays serving openly.

  • W.

    @Taylor Siluwe. Glover murdered Winchell not the other way around. Get your facts “straight.”

  • B

    No. 8 · DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12) wrote, “@Sine: Because if it isn’t done right, we’re back where we were in 1993. We needed the nondiscrimination language, and that was compromised away.”

    Once it is repealed (and certified), President Obama, as commander and chief, can order nondiscrimination language to be added to military regulations. The hangup right now is that an act of congress is in the way, and the repeal (if it passes) removes that.

  • WiseUp

    Never mind Taylor Siluwe. His bloodthirsty positions on the Duke lacrosse case negates his “morality” on anything.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    Nevermind Wiseup. Its one of my many stalkers who have no life other than trying ineptly to annoy me.

  • Hyhybt

    He’s confined to the DESSERT? (insert crude remarks here)

  • DR


    And as Mr. Belkin from the Palm Center noted, any such order coming from either the President or the Pentagon can either (a) be undone by a future President, (b) be undone by future officials in the Pentagon, or (c) undone by a future Congress.

    We don’t need executive orders or regulations, we need repeal by law and non-discrimination clauses passed with force of law. Nothing else provides the same level of protection.

  • Hyhybt

    @DR: Only in theory.

  • DR


    The fact that that theory exists is enough to give me cause for concern. We needed solid policy with non-discrimination language and a full repeal via law and got this instead. I’d love to be wrong a few years down the line, but I’m not hopeful.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    W –

    My point remains, whether or not I transposed the names. But you kn
    ow that already (hence the tired dodge).

  • Rob Moore

    @DR: A statute repealed by Congress can also be reinstated by a future congress. I will believe it is repealed when it is signed by Obama. Even so, if the Republicans take a large enough majority in both houses, look for them to overturn it with the help of the DINOs. I do not trust the good intentions of either party. We have always been reviled by the Republicans and that has only intensified. The Democrats have betrayed us so many times, it is difficult to take their word on anything.

  • B

    No. 18 · DR wrote, “@B: And as Mr. Belkin from the Palm Center noted, any such order coming from either the President or the Pentagon can either (a) be undone by a future President, (b) be undone by future officials in the Pentagon, or (c) undone by a future Congress. We don’t need executive orders or regulations, we need repeal by law and non-discrimination clauses passed with force of law. Nothing else provides the same level of protection.”

    What you are missing is the need for risk mitigation. Most of the opposition to a repeal is coming from Republicans and given historical trends, there is a good chance that the Republicans could pick up enough seats in the next election to block anything on DADT during the second half of Obama’s first term in office.

    You can also read a Bay Area Reporter editorial on it,
    http://ebar.com/openforum/opforum.php?sec=editorial , and that makes the same point: “Despite its flaws, we applaud this week’s movement on repealing DADT. It’s a bad policy that has only grown worse over the course of its 17 years. And congressional backers like Murphy, Lieberman, and Levin were wise to push for a compromise if it means that Congress can vote this year, while Democrats still have majorities in each body.”

  • hyhybt

    @B: And once the policy is gone, it will be difficult to reinstate, and moreso each year that passes.

  • B

    No. 24 · hyhybt wrote, “@B: And once the policy is gone, it will be difficult to reinstate, and moreso each year that passes.”

    And in addition, Obama can veto any Republican attempt to reinstate DADT, even if they win control of both the House and the Senate.

  • Bill Perdue

    On May 28th ‘B’, a lying talking head for the DNC and other reactionaries attacked “QUEERTY, saying “So, QUEERTY would have us believe that its staff includes a mind-reader or two who are tuned into the Oval Office and can tell what the president thinks?”

    Now it’s ‘B’, a lying talking head for the DNC, who’s pretending to read Obama’s mind and predict the future: “And in addition, Obama can veto any Republican attempt to reinstate DADT, even if they win control of both the House and the Senate.”

    What ‘B’, a lying talking head for the DNC seems to be unable to grasp is that the folks at Queerty are not actually enemies of the GLBT communities. Obama, on the other hand, is our open enemy. His campaign began with haters like Donnie McClurkin and after using his campaign to destroy our chances to retain same sex marriage in California it ended with a pig like Rick Warren at the Inaugural.

    Since then Obama’s defended fellow Democrat Clinton’s DADT and DOMA in court on several occasions using typically vile homohating comments. Obama is our enemy and ‘B’, a lying talking head for the DNC is his lawyer at Queerty.

    And how can you tell when a lawyer is lying? He’s lying when he’s awake and his lips are moving.

    Caught again, ‘B’, a lying talking head for the DNC,will soon claim that his detractors are bad people who lie about him and are out to get him. Usually he waits a day or two to lie about his detractors, hoping people will forget his lies. But we don’t.


    Stop with the politics. ONLY demanding works. Even a child knows that.

  • jeffree

    @GetEQUAL by DEMANDING: Using children who make demands for a cookie or a new toy is a perfect example of threats without consequences. It leads no where. As AndrewW says, it’s just a meaningless stunt.

    Please wish Jason_Activist & Justin_Activist well on their modified hunger strike. With all the press attention theyre getting I’m sure they appreciate you standing in for them.

  • B

    No. 26 · Bill Perdue lied through his teeth again by pretending that I was lying when I pointed out rather humorously that it would take a “mind reader” to determine out what Obama was actually thinking as he sits in the oval office. Perdue that spouts one lie after another – so many that it is not worth answering them. This character needs professional help – he is a pathological liar.

    Perdue is apparently delusional when he write, “Obama’s defended fellow Democrat Clinton’s DADT and DOMA in court on several occasions using typically vile homohating comments.” What a bald-faced lie. Obama does not make vile remarks about anyone, even Republicans, at least not in public, and Obama has not appeared in court once during his presidency (that would have made front page news if it had happened).

    It’s one thing not to like President Obama’s policies and one thing to criticize them, but it is completely unacceptable to put out lie after lie as this Bill Perdue creep is doing.


    @jeffree: I’m a Demander. I don’t need the title Activist. What I need are fellow demanders. If thousands of us skip a few meals or sit-around or protest Exxon or heckle people when they have an audience THEN we can MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.

    In our history we have never gotten nothing because we didn’t do something. Those things go right together. So, I say to you and your friends GetUP or ShutUP. It’s as easy at that or maybe easier.

  • jeffree

    Why would we protest EXXON when BP is the target?
    Ya know: Louisiana. Oil Spill? Worst oil spill ever??
    Pick up a newspaper!
    In your status of being deprived of nutritional deficiency, you are becoming, I fear, disoriented & unhinged. i hope you & Justin_Activist and Jason_Activist will have great success with your stunts and cause immediate overturn of DADT, DOMA and get ENDA enacted.

    My employment status depends on you. Don’t let me down amigo !


    @jeffree: DADT’s first, den the rest. It will lead to whatever repeal we are willing to demand for.

    I’ll see you in the streets. Keep track of Dan Choi – he’s our Demander in Chief. People around the world are recognizing his ability to make change and overturn stuff. He’s hungry. Hunger works.

    Have you EVER protested anything? Can you even raise your voice? Or at least type in ALL CAPS. What up, fool?

  • jeffree

    @GetEQUAL by DEMANDING: Good luck! You clearly have a well thought out strategy, numerous allies, press representation, and a fully functional website so we can follow your many inevitable & imminent successes.

    Nothing stands in your way! Sky’s the limit!

    I’m forwarding copies of all your posts [plus those of Justin_Activist and Jason_Activist] to GetEqual so they can GET ON YOUR BANDWAGON of success! I’m sure they will be DELIGHTED with your ENTHUSIASM, which of course is NOT a distraction from what Saint Dan Choi is doing !!

    Please do take care of yourself! My future career running an adoption agency depends on YOU & ONLY You.
    My hero!!!!!!!

  • Bill Perdue

    @B: ‘B’can’t help lying. It comes with the job.

  • B

    In No. 34 · Bill Perdue once again accused me of lying in order to cover up his continual (and very obvious) lies. Talk about being sleazy!

  • Rob Moore

    This thread has turned into a pointless collection of sniping, snarky texts.

Comments are closed.