promises, promises

Nancy Pelosi Says a DADT Vote Will Come This Year. Wait, She Expects Us to Take Her Word For It?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is promising a full floor vote on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by the end of 2010. Well, her office is calling it an “intention.” We’re calling it either a) a reaction to GetEQUAL storming her office; b) lip service; or c) both.

Yet another Democratic lawmaker posturing for the mid-term elections in November. There is no guarantee of a vote here. Sorry if we’re the cynics in the room, and we know this is politics after all, but Democratic leaders already had their fun toying with gay voters in the 2008 election. YOU DON’T GET TO DO IT AGAIN IN 2010. This is just a half-hearted crumb in the hopes you’ll lay off her back, and she think you’re just gullible enough — to wait for a time when the Democrats just may not have the votes to push it through. This is the same woman who said 2010 would not be the year for “controversial” bills, including immigration reform and DADT. Pelosi, who is a very, very smart woman, is not our ally until she proves it.

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  • Brian

    Pelosi wouldn’t disobey Rahm and Messina by putting a simple repeal in the Defense Authorization bill, or by bringing it to the floor while the democrats are still able to pass it before the election. No. She is just helping the party move those walnuts around. Funny thing is, we just can’t be played any more. We have seen this game before, and it doesn’t fucking work twice.

  • AndrewW

    Because of GetEqual? Are you serious?

    Is Queerty endorsing pissing on our friends to get readers? Or do they actually believe it is an effective strategy? Tell us.

  • delurker again

    Say what you will about Pelosi, but she does not bring votes to the floor of House unless there is a 100% certainty of passage. Her record as speaker certainly bears that out.

  • delurker again

    Oh please, stop fluffing GetEqual. I doubt Pelosi cares about their theatrics.

  • Michael @

    While there’s no indication of the vehicle, both that and timing are crucial variables. ANY method after midterms is likely to fail, and the insertion in DEFAUTH method MUST happen by early October at the latest.

    To illustrate, this was last year’s DEFAUTH timeline:

    Separate House & Senate DEFAUTH bills introduced Jun 2, 2009
    House Armed Services Committee “markups” finished Jun 19
    Senate Armed Services Committee “markups” finished Jun 26
    Bill passed House Jun 25
    Hate crimes bill added as amendment to Senate version July 16
    Revised bill passed Senate Jul 23
    House/Senate conference report resolving differences between bills passes House Oct 8
    [It was the conference committee that enveloped the hate crimes bill and added James Byrd, Jr.’s name to it]
    House/Senate conference report passes Senate Oct 22
    Signed by President Oct 28, 2009

    As indicated, repeal need not initially be in the separate DEFAUTH bills of each house, but can be brought to the joint committee table by one house [as hate crimes was] and stay in the joint bill both end up voting on.

    While the spectacular current chief sponsor of the House standalone bill, Patrick Murphy, has said previously that he has more commitments to vote for it than cosponsors [not unusual], per the following article from the April 9th “NY Times,” he is apparently now focusing on DEFAUTH, too [both houses, of course, must support it to work]:

    “[In] gathering votes for its repeal, Mr. Murphy has upped the cosponsor tally [of the standalone bill] by 40 in the past year to 191 and counting (including two Republicans). He gained a dozen new supporters last month …. [Murphy] is predicting he’ll have the needed 216-vote majority in time to add repeal onto the huge defense authorization bill when it comes up next month. He is already conferring on strategy with Joseph Lieberman, the Senate’s repeal leader. Over in that chamber, the 60-vote filibuster barrier could be turned back onto opponents as the minimum they would need to strike repeal from the defense bill.”

    The problem in the House has been the opposition to repeal in any form of Ike Skelton, the homophobic Trog chair of the House Armed Services Committee who sponsored DADT in the House in 1993.

    But Speaker of the House Pelosi [who represents THE gayest district in the whole U.S.] can trump him [and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer who said two weeks ago repeal would not be in DEFAUTH] if she wants. Place your bets.

  • jeffree

    Pelosi got the healthcare reform bill passed even though I –and many smarter people than me– never thought she could.

    Call me naive, but as skeptical as I am, I think she’s got the savvy & the power to get things done, if anyone can, in the pre-midterm mayhem. Call me cautiously hopeful, but not optimistic.

    If the vote doesn’t happen before midterms then we’re flat out of luck. History shows that midterm elections often shake up the power balance in congress, and with more Repubs likely to get voted in, the repeal of DADT and DOMA plus the passage of ENDA are “dreams deferred”.

  • Jon

    GetEQUAL does have their place and is useful. If they had effect on the speaker I have no idea. We do need it in the Defense Authorization Bill so please join GetEQUAL on May 2nd at noon by the White House and/or HRC May 10 and 11 for their lobby days.

  • tjr101

    I appreciate Nancy Pelosi and her skills as a politician but she is indeed a politician and won’t hold my breath. I also fear that she will no longer be speaker after November 2010.

  • John (CA)

    In all likelihood, she’s leaving Congress in November. Tom Foley is the only speaker in recent memory to have actually lost his seat in an election. But most speakers resign shortly after losing the House. And even if their party maintains overall control, many do it after suffering heavy losses. They certainly don’t want to go through the indignity of becoming a backbencher again.

    It is almost a forgone conclusion that either one or the other scenario will come to pass this year.

    Pelosi is near the end of her career and she knows it. Hopefully, that means she’d be more willing to go out with a bang rather than a whimper. Of course, you never know with the Democrats.

  • christopher di spirito

    Methinks all that Botox has seeped into Nanny Pelosi’s brain and she now believes she’s Mae West.

  • Andrew


    OKAY. I get it you guys! You don’t like Democrats.

    You know eventually I grow tired of all this Democrat bashing here on queerty. You don’t like them? Fine. Go vote for the Republcans who would rather have your kind shot and we’ll see how it works for you. Yes, I admit, the Dems are [FAR, FAR, FAR] from perfect, and they have many other issues to deal with along with gay rights and sometimes gay rights get put on the backburner. Is that right? No. But guess what? At the end of the day they are on our side. At the end of the day, even when they don’t support introducing legislation to introduce marriage equality, AT LEAST they don’t allow the Republicans to do the opposite and introduce marriage discrimination into the constitution.

    I will always vote for the guys who have a do no harm policy and will at least leave me to fight for my rights, while subtlety supporting me, Vs. the guys who would like to bring the full weight of the government against us.

  • Andrew

    @Andrew: And thenre there is this little thing called ‘Other Issues’ by the way. I may be Gay, but it isn’t the sole thing I vote on, I’m also a big proponent of economic equality as well.

  • Steve

    I frankly do not believe promises from elected officials. Congressmen (and women) have been making promises to gay people for decades. They have yet to fulfill any of those promises. They occasionally throw the dog a bone, but never the meat of what was promised.

    I do believe that Pelosi needs some gay votes. If too many of her gay constituents stay home in November, she could actually loose reelection. Hence, she will make some promise, and invite some gays to her campaign events. And, she will find a way to blame the lack of actual passed bills on someone else.

    In the end, there will be no movement on any gay rights in this Congress. Same story as forever — there just are not enough gay people, but there are plenty of hateful bigots. As long as the hateful bigots outnumber the gays, the bigots win.

  • jason

    What does Nancy mean by “end of the year”? After the congressional elections? Oh, how convenient! By that time, the Democrats will have lost their majorities in possibly both houses, thus rendering any vote useless.

    Listen, Nancy, I’ve got something to say to you. Some of us might have shit for brains but not me.

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


    There is another option. Vote third party. Green, Libertarian, etc. Those parties may not have a strong presence, but it sends a message.

    Personally, I[‘m fed up with this notion that you have to vote Democrats (who regularly stab us in the back while paying us lip service) or Republicans (who, for the most part, don’t like us). I’m also fed up with this notion that the Dems will some day wake up, have this great epiphany, and start actually doing something.

    No more. They want my votes, they need to earn them. If a Democrat earns them, I’ll vote for him/her. Otherwise, I am not going to vote Democrat just because the Republicans might be worse. That’s the kind of thinking which ensures we get table scraps. Last time I checked, I wasn’t a dog to be kicked around.

  • jason

    Dr (the real one),

    Well said.

  • Andrew

    @jason: Oh of course, cause everyone who doesn’t agree with you is an idiot, right?

  • Andrew

    @DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12): You consider the Matthew Shepard act to be lip service? You consider the extensive protections for GLBT people in almost every state with a Democratic majority to be lip service? You consider vigorously opposing anti-gay marriage amendments, in even conservative states like NC and IN, to be lip service?

    No, on many things you are correct. The Democrats AREN’T doing every they could do, or even half of it, and for that I strongly disagree with them. However once again, if I have to choose between a No Harm Dem and a shoot the faggots Rep I’m going with the Dem.

    If the Green party was viable, I’d vote for them. I’m probably more Left-Wing than most of you here, but I’m also a realist.

    Also, your little bit about the Democrats never coming around is simply untrue. The world has moved massively in favor of Gay rights, and will continue to. Give it ten years when we have large majorities in favor of gay rights, then even the No Harm Dems will come around.

    Is it right to have to wait for rights? Hell no. But emotionalism and attacking those who will at least defend us [if not always fight for us] won’t get us anywhere and denies us the alliances we need to make progress on gay rights.

  • Andrew

    @DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12): Wait I just read your title as well. What exactly do you mean by “Not the guy who made post 12”. Considering I’ve been using Andrew on this site for months.

  • jason


    What do you mean “the world has moved massively in favor of gay rights”? The world has done no such thing. It’s the US Supreme Court that overturned sodomy laws, not “the world”. It was several courageous states – such as conservative Iowa and forward-thinking Massachusetts – that legalized gay marriage, not “the world”.

    Overall, it is fair judges and courageous politicians who have made a difference to our lives, not “the world”.

    At the federal level, the Democrats have done fuck all save for one or two symbolic gestures, such as hate crimes legislation. In fact, a case can be made that, federally, the Democrats have harmed us more than helped us. Indeed, if you go back to the two-faced Bill Clinton, it’s a fair call to say that the Democrats set us back with DADT and DOMA.

    There is ample evidence that the Democrats have treated us as politically useful idiots for a number of years. I’ve had it up to my back teeth with them. From now on, they’re going to have to earn my vote with results, not rhetoric.

  • Andrew

    @jason: You need to take geography 101 again. The world doesn’t generally contain only the U.S.A, and even then denying there hasn’t been a massive shift on views of homosexuality in the last few decades…have you been under a rock?

  • Andrew

    @jason: Also, while I believe DOMA was wrong, I also believe it was on the face of things the best end result.

    Hawaii was at the time considering legalizing gay marriage in a major court case. Many Republicans were moving for a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality. And they would have been able to do it quite easily if they hadn’t been placated by DOMA.

    A statue is a hell of a lot easier to overturn than a constitutional amendment. That would have set us back thirty perhaps more years and would have stopped ANY states from recognizing marriage equality.

    I realize for a lot of people whom are invested in relationships and want their rights NOW that it’s an emotional issue. Honestly, considering I’m quite young, I’m probably looking at it through a different lense of “Oh I’ll have my rights when I can actually get married and want to” but I still believe a long term strategy is much more efficient than short term emotionalism.

  • Cam

    One thing that she didn’t bring up. If they can get a repeal in the Defense Authorization bill, it is incredibly likely to pass. A stand alone floor vote would be a bit tougher.

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


    That was from the softball thread, someone stole my handle.

    Anyway, while I respect your position, and understand it, I absolutely disagree. The Dems had a supermajority in Congress AND a Democratic President and just blew everything in terms of GLBT rights.

    Yes, they passed hate crimes legislation. Great. So far, they are avoiding the big-ticket items like the repeal of DOMA, the repeal of DADT (a year-long study, which will get them past mid-term elections), and any significant movement on ENDA(yes I know what Barney Frank says, and I’ll believe it when I see the bill hit the floor).

    This is not about emotionalism for me. I am almost 40 years old and have been out for 20 years now. I’m tired of compromises which make things worse; ie: DOMA instead of a Constitutional Amendment and DADT instead of a total ban on GLB servicemembers. I’m tired of watching a party I’ve supported for 20 years constantly making promises and then turning around and forgetting them.

    The last questionnaire I got from the Democrats contained NOTHING about GLBT issues and how important they are to me. The Dems don’t see it as a priority right now, therefore I do not see voting for them as a priority right now.

    I’ll vote for one who earns my trust and respect, but no longer will I vote “Democrat” just to keep the scary Republicans away. I’m fed up with the scare tactics. They need to show me some real action and then I’ll vote for them. Otherwise, my vote goes third party. We look long and hard at buying a home, buying a car, changing or choosing the right job, etc, so why not put our elected officials under the same scrutiny?

  • the crustybastard

    Andrew, you think you understand politics, but you do not. Since you admit that you’re young, I’ll chalk it up to a failure of your education rather than a failure of your intellect.

    Public elections are about 99% principles and 1% politics. However, politics is 99% quid pro quo and 1% principles. Politicians routinely sign on to legislation that they’re opposed to on principle. They do that because they owe somebody a vote, or they want somebody to owe them a vote. These votes happen all the time and as such these votes are the currency exchanged within legislatures.

    To the contrary, votes in public elections generally aren’t about the exchange of favors. For partisan voters, public elections are a mere formality. For non-partisan voters, they are votes of confidence/no confidence.

    When special interest groups occasionally band together to turn their collective votes into a quid pro quo, that is not self-defeating. That is how politics are played in the big leagues.

    You are a partisan voter. Your partisanship makes you willing to subordinate my civil rights to your interest in your notions of “economic equality” and some imagined long-game strategy. That doesn’t make you smart, and it doesn’t make you sensible. It makes you functionally no different that anybody else who stands in the way of my civil rights.

    Had you studied any of the various civil rights movements, you’d learn that the civil rights of a given minority are not respected so long as that minority patiently endures their subjugation and hopes for a better future.

    That strategy makes them political pawns, not political players.

  • edgyguy1426

    @ DR I believe you’re absolutely right. If the Tea Party can move the Republicans to the right, then why can’t a more left party like the Greens move the Dems to be where they should have been in the first place ?

  • Andrew

    I’ll respond to both of you tomorrow, just get back on for a bit but I’m getting tired, certainly much to so to debate.

    But at CB, the first two things that really struck out at me through your post.

    My age has zip to do with my point of view or anything else. If you seek to make it an issue, it has to do with a lacking in your argument rather than a lack of knowledge on my part.

    Second of all, and this is the more pressing bit, how the hell do you get off calling it “your rights” and that I’M standing in the way of YOUR rights? Get off your high horse and stop being the same bitter queen I believe is holding our community back. Attack your own all you want rather than respecting differences civilly, it won’t get you anywhere. I’m sick and tired of people like you who apparently don’t get the idea of putting differences aside for the common good but would rather tear us all down. Believe it or not we’re fighting for the same thing, and everyone who disagrees with you isn’t out to get you.


    @DR; Ah Okay that explains it, thanks! ;D

  • Andrew

    @edgyguy1426: Quick response.

    In any other country this would be possible. In the U.S. it isn’t because the populace is already leaning Right, thus why the Tea Party is so effective. They breed on this. The U.S. populace simply isn’t willing to support the same level of European-Style reforms that took place for the rest of the world during the 1920’s and are now considered the norm elsewhere.

    Blame it on a mix of the New Deal stealing Social Democratic thunder, the Cold War and Reagan/Republic fear mongering.

    I say this as a strong Progressive / Social Democratic who would LOVE to kick the Dems in favor of a Left Alternative.

  • Franco

    As a Canadian, I doubt the sincerity of many American politicians. I hope for more advancement of gay rights south of the boarder. It’s wrong to be treated like second class citizens. Civil rights should never be used for political gain.

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    I believe her, but the House is not the sticking point, so it is easy for her to say she will have vote that will not pass the bill into law.

  • PopSnap

    Pelosi is a rep in San Francisco, correct? She needs the gay vote period. Her opponent the conservative republican has about as much of a chance of winning as I do.

  • AndrewW

    Because of GetEqual? Are you serious?

    Is Queerty endorsing pissing on our friends to get readers? Or do they actually believe it is an effective strategy? Tell us.

  • AndrewW

    Pelosi never said anything. A staffer said she had an “intention” to have a vote. People are calling it a promise or a pledge and she never said anything like that.

    How is the misinformation helpful?

  • the crustybastard

    @Andrew: You’re the one who brought up the way your age informs your attitude. YOU said that. I only agreed.

    As for civility, I was being civil. You called me a bitter queen. Go fuck yourself and don’t bother replying because I won’t bother to read it.


  • christopher di spirito

    This is the same woman who said after learning Bush had lied the country into a war, said, “Impeachment is off the table.”

  • B

    In No 14, Steve wrote, “do believe that Pelosi needs some gay votes. If too many of her gay constituents stay home in November, she could actually loose reelection.”

    Not true – Nancy Pelosi typically wins congressional elections by getting 75% of the vote on the average, and that is with spending pretty close to zero on campaigning. San Francisco’s Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual population makes up about 15.4 percent of the total. All her current LBGT supporters would have to vote Republican for her to have any trouble, and she could compensate for that by actually running an active campaign.

    BTW, usually she gives a lot of contributions to other Democratic candidates, so going after Nancy would simply mean less LGBT support in Congress, and by a lot more than one vote. You may not like her, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot because of it.


  • WalkderDC

    They see gay votes as a gimmie to a small constituency. It’s the same as if they tell home school advocates, sure vote for us and we’ll try to schedule a vote on your issues sometime in the post election future just keep donating and sending money.

  • David D.

    Odd, AndrewW has the same talking points and argumentative style as “band” over on Joe.My.God.

    It must be tough having to cover all these gay blogs for your job at the DNC, “Andrew.” I hope they are paying you well for shilling for the Dems 24/7. Too bad the Dems can’t actually put those financial and personnel resources into actually doing something for the gay folks that voted and donated. That’d be a much better strategy than paying tools like you to rationalize their behavior and try to convince us that we aren’t seeing what we are seeing.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @Michael @


    While I fully agree with the sentiment of your post, I also think that a full understanding of how things work, particularly the bad news, it critically important in order to undo the bad that has been done.

    DADT was sponsored in the House by the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Representative Ron Dellums, of Oakland and Berkeley. Dellums is currently the mayor of Oakland; and a very very longtime friend to the LGBT community. And yet is was Dellums who shouldered DADT on behalf of the then new president, Bill Clinton.

    This doesn’t change your points about the current chairman and his anti-gay beliefs. Nonetheless, in order to undo DADT, our side must better understand how/why so-called friends turn their back to us and how to stop it. I’ve never quite understood why Gay, Inc., including the Servicemembers group, has not sought Dellums assistance in formulating the strategy to repeal DADT. He has the knowledge needed.

  • AndrewW

    It is my “intention” to vote for Democrats in November.

    How’s that Nancy?

  • PopSnap

    Anyway, I do believe she does support us, it just isn’t a priority. Wasn’t she good friends with Harvey Milk? She DID start crying when she compared tea partiers to the anti-gay sentiment that killed Harvey and she always struck me as a “tough mother” figure.

  • Ronbolina

    Nancy has shown herself to have the biggest set of ball, second only to Alan Grayson. I say “Yes” to the second-least meek Democrat in the pack of losers. Republicans are an equally repugnant group – but they have a Nazi-like capability for getting things done THEIR way.

  • Rob Moore

    @Andrew: What has caused the disillusionment and anger is that even though we know the Republicans hate us, the Democrats just lie to us. We know the Democrats claim to support us and make promises to us but drop us like jocks dropping their nerdy bud once the nerd finishes the jock’s homework for him. The Republicans don’t try to deceive us for our votes and money although 25% of gay voters behave like Jews for Hitler. The Democrats know that the remaining 75% of gay voters will not vote for Republicans. I think it amuses some of the powers within the DNC at how easily they can milk the queer cow.

    The saddest part of all this is that DADT was enacted because of opposition within Democratic circles to Clinton’s attempt to issue an executive order lifting the ban. DOMA passed with a lot of Democrats voting “aye”. These might well have been the last two bills passed by Congress with broad bipartisan support.

    Fool me once shame on you. Fool me every two years for 20 years, then shame on me. I broke up with a boyfriend once upon a time just because I caught him in too many lies. I don’t know if he cheated or not. It didn’t matter. The lies were too numerous and too big to ignore. Same principle applies to politics. It gains me nothing to continue supporting Democrats. Since the only alternative is the Republican Fascist Party, I would rather be alone.

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