So Did Obama Mention Dan Choi In His ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Statement?

Even though John Aravosis made sure to give Don’t Ask Don’t Tell protestor Lieutenant Dan Choi some post-repeal love along with Servicemembers United, The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and other gay vets, President Obama didn’t mention Choi specifically in his DADT repeal statement. He did however give a shout out to “all the patriots who fought and marched for change,” which definitely applies to Choi. You can read Obama’s entire statement below for yourself:

Today, the discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is finally and formally repealed. As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service.

I was proud to sign the Repeal Act into law last December because I knew that it would enhance our national security, increase our military readiness, and bring us closer to the principles of equality and fairness that define us as Americans. Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.

For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America’s promise to all our citizens. Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans. Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals.

Image via Alessio85

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  • SteveC

    Finally, this revoltng piece of homophobic legislation is gone.

    It made such a mockery of our country that our Army was being sent into foreign countries to wage illegal wars to steal oil, when we ourselves had so little interest in democracy or justice.

    Let’s not get carried away by this however.

    ENDA and the DOMA repeal are FAR nore important and far reaching to many more people than the repeal of DADT is.

    It’s good that DADT is now repealed, so that our LGBT soldiers can kill civilians in countries with oil, in an open manner, and pretend it is to ‘defend’ our country.

    But the US is still an embarrassment to the developed world, in the manner in which discrimination against our community is regarded as perfectly acceptable.

  • the crustybastard

    Obama didn’t mention Dan Choi — the man he’s selectively and maliciously prosecuting — in his public statement?


    Obama did send this message to his homophobic flying monkeys at the DOJ: “I’ll get you GetEQUAL — and your little Dan, too! Fly, my pretties! FLY!”

  • Cam

    @SteveC: said….

    “ENDA and the DOMA repeal are FAR nore important and far reaching to many more people than the repeal of DADT is.”

    No, actually that isn’t correct. ENDA is a protection bill, DADT was a peice of Federal legislation used by people and companies to justify their own discrimination against gays.

    Companies can say “Hey, the federal govt. doesn’t want these people therefore there is nothing wrong with us discriminating against them.”

  • PhillyRock

    Hey, I’m sorry – the end of DADT is much bigger than Dan Choi. Many of us have served and fought for years to end this mess – although Dan did a great service – it’s patently unfair to demean this event by sniping that Obama didn’t mention Dan in his statement. It is a disservice to this great achievement by ALL of us – including the President. Let’s celebrate the end of this injustice instead of creepily undermining the occasion.

  • Dallas David

    @PhillyRock: Wholeheartedly agree. DADT is gone for good. Discrimination in the military will be the next issue to tackle, but it’s best to enjoy the moment, and then cross the other bridges when we meet them.
    Good luck to the soldiers who have to fight those battles . . .

    Civilian equality will come quicker, now that DADT is gone. Sure, marriage equality will have greater consequence to us all, but those days are coming.

    Thanks to the Obama administration, who did well on this issue — certainly much better than any Republican administration would have done.

    Best wishes to all . . .

  • fredo777

    Mazel tov, mili-gays!

    Hmm, I can do better than that one. Give me some time.

  • Wesley Horace

    fuck dan choi. stop mentioning this fame whore.

  • Spike

    If by NOT mentioning Dan Choi, that will make Dan Choi go away, then I’m glad Obama didn’t mention Dan Choi. In the mean time, Dan Choi will continue to make the repeal of DADT ALL ABOUT Dan Choi.

  • Jens

    How would Choi deserve more thanks than any of the other GLB military folks who fought for equality?

    Also, what about ENDA for the majority of GLBT people who don’t serve in the military???!!!

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    Somewhere in Heaven Maj. General Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Baron von Steuben, the Drillmaster of Valley Forge, Chief of Staff and Inspector General of the Continental Army, author of “Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States” is smiling.

  • Interesting

    @Cam: ENDA is more important. In terms of numerical impact, you are just wrong. You can do all the symbolism in the world (which I know many love to do), but the numbers tell the tale, and on that front, ENDA is more important hands down. What we really needed, however, was a comprehensive civil rights bill, and this would have not been a debate as to the goodness of DADT repeal being included in such a bill.

  • Not Impressed

    Dan Choi? Oh please. Here are the facts:

    1. Choi wasn’t in the regular Army when he came out on Rachel Maddow’s program. He had already left the Army, and was attending weekend drills with the New York National Guard.

    2. Choi’s service record in the regular Army is questionable. He left West Point in 2003, and five years later was still a first lieutenant. During the current wars, the promotion track to captain was shortened to 3-1/2 years, and more than 95% of second lieutenants make it. But Choi, a service academy graduate, was not promoted to captain in five years.

    3. Choi was not kicked out of anything. He left the Army with a partial disability pension, and left the New York National Guard after not attending his required drills.

    4. Choi was arrested at the White House because he wanted to be arrested. He deliberately violated civilian law there, and violated military law by protesting while in uniform.

    Dan Choi has always been about Dan Choi. His antics did nothing to advance DADT repeal. No one owes him anything. He needs to calm down and find himself a job.

  • Cam

    @Interesting: said..

    “@Cam: ENDA is more important. In terms of numerical impact, you are just wrong.”

    No, having a federal law on the books creates an atmosphere that directly effects every gay person in the nation. ALL gays are effected when the Federal govt. directly states that gays are second class citizens. The fact that laws like DADT exist add to the atmosphere that requires laws like ENDA to be passed.

    As for the people coming in here saying that Obama is wonderful and Choi is a fame whore….Aren’t you the SAME people who defended OBama earlier by saying that he might endanger his reelection if he supported us too much and using that as your explanation?

    Well then by your on words….Choi Risked his job and lost it and Obama was afraid to. End of story.

  • Not Impressed

    Choi did not “risk his job” by coming out. It was exactly the opposite. He did this for the money.

    Choi had already left the regular Army on a partial disability pension a year before he ever appeared on Maddow’s show. All he “risked” was participation in monthly drills for the New York National Guard, which didn’t even fire him until Choi took such a high profile that he forced the issue. Choi had to be fired, or his marketability as an DADT martyr would’ve been nil.

    Choi’s monthly drill pay was about $700 a month. After he went on Maddow’s show and became a poster child for DADT repeal, he was charging $10,000 per speech. Do the math, people. This wasn’t an act of courage, it was opportunism plain and simple. This has always been The Dan Choi Show.

  • Interesting

    @Cam: Again, the numbers tell the tale. I am not really going to debate believe. And you are spouting belief.

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