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Old 05-24-2010, 10:01 PM   #41
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Obama endorses 'don't ask, don't tell' compromise in Congress

By Michael D. Shear
Monday, May 24, 2010; 8:36 PM

President Obama has signed on to a "don't ask, don't tell" compromise between lawmakers and the Defense Department, the White House announced Monday, an agreement that removes a key obstacle to repealing the military's policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.

Under the compromise, finalized in a series of meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill, lawmakers will vote in the next several days on a repeal of the Clinton-era policy. If it passes, that action would not go into effect until the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on the troops.

In a letter to lawmakers pushing for a legislative repeal, the White House wrote Monday that "such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions."

Gay rights advocates hailed the White House decision as a "dramatic breakthrough" that they predicted would dismantle the policy once and for all. In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said the announcement "paves the path to fulfill the President's call to end 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' this year and puts us one step closer to removing this stain from the laws of our nation."

The move also injects a highly controversial social issue back into the national conversation, even as lawmakers begin to gear up for their fall reelection campaigns.

Conservative lawmakers have vowed to fight the effort to end the policy. Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), who had previously supported repeal, said at a recent congressional hearing that "Don't Ask" was "imperfect but effective" and that "we should not be seeking to overturn."

Several conservative Democrats in Congress have said they would oppose a repeal unless military leaders made clear that they approved of such a change. That signal has been on hold as the Pentagon completes its study of the ramifications.

At the same time, liberal lawmakers had been pushing for an immediate repeal. The White House endorsement of the compromise is designed to satisfy both concerns and earn their support for a deferred repeal.

"We can live with this, and we're asking enthusiastically members to support and vote for it," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

one step closer to removing this stain from the laws of our nation
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:26 PM   #42
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once it happens, no one will even notice.

all that removing DADT will do is enable gay people to NOT HAVE TO LIE, that's all.

of late, i've become fairly good friends with a guy who is somewhat high up in the ranks and does really complex work at the NIH, goes to work in uniform, is a career officer, etc. and if it were discovered that he were gay, he says he could go to prison. now, if any of you were to talk to him, you'd know he was gay. yet, he can't have any online presence on any gay-interest website, he's very restrictive with his facebook profile and what can and cannot be posted on it, he has no pictures of his boyfriend at work, he doesn't talk about his weekend, he doesn't talk about his social life, he doesn't talk about visiting colleges with his boyfriend and his BF's teenage son, and all because if it got out he could blow his entire career.

all that the repeal of DADT would change is that he won't have to lie and construct these awful barriers between his work life and his personal life with the threat of being discharged (or jailed, so he claims, though i'm not sure how that works) hanging over his head.

it's simply wrong. end of story.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:27 PM   #43
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May 25, 2010 10:33 AM

By Bryan Bender and Matt Viser, Boston Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Scott Brown will vote against repealing 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' when it comes up for a vote Thursday in the Senate Armed Services Committee, dealing a blow to gay rights advocates who were hoping the freshman Republican would support efforts to permit gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, The Globe's Political Intelligence blog has learned.

Brown's highly anticipated decision comes after President Obama and Democratic leaders struck a deal Monday night to overcome Pentagon resistance to changing the law before a top level review of how to implement a new policy is completed by Dec. 1.

The deal, outlined in a letter to Congress from the White House Office of Management and Budget, stipulates that any congressional repeal would not go into effect until the Pentagon review is completed.

But Brown says that while he is keeping "an open mind" on future efforts, he believes any vote for repeal should be put off until the Pentagon has time to formulate a plan for implementing any new policy.

"I am keeping an open mind, but I do not support moving ahead until I am able to finish my review, the Pentagon completes its study, and we can be assured that a new policy can be implemented without jeopardizing the mission of our military," Brown said in a statement provided to the Globe.

Brown, who is also a lieutentant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard, said he came to his decision after hearing the views of multiple officers and enlisted personnel.

"For some time now, I have been seeking the opinions and recommendations of service chiefs, commanders in the field, and, most importantly, our junior soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines," he said in the statement. "I believe we have a responsibility to the men and women of our armed forces to be thorough in our consideration of this issue and take their opinions seriously."

But it appears to buck the vast majority of Massachusetts voters, according to a poll released today. The Brown DADT Memo of 500 registered voters, conducted by Brown's pollster, Neil Newhouse for the Human Rights Campaign, found that 77 percent of Bay State voters supports repeal. Meanwhile, it found that 62 percent of voters who backed Brown in the January special election support overturning the current law, as do 67 percent of registered independents who voted for him.

Criticism from some gay rights groups was swift and unsparing. "The notion that the senator from Massachusetts -- the first state in the nation to have marriage equality and one of the first states to have an antidiscrimination law -- would oppose ending discrimination against gays military personnel is reprehensible," said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.

She said she was particularly surprised at Brown's explanation because the proposals for repeal in Congress stipulate that the Pentagon review would have to be completed before a new policy would take effect.

"What possible excuse could he have other than brazen prejudice?" Isaacson declared.

Susan Ryan-Vollmar of MassEquality.org, a grassroots organization, said she, too, is puzzled by Brown's reasoning. "The Pentagon review is not studying whether to do this but how to do this."

Clark Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans in Washington, the gay rights group that has been lobbying Brown for his support on the issue, said he believes the vote planned for this week "would support the work the Pentagon is doing."

"Log Cabin Republicans are disappointed that he will not support clearing this arcane policy off the decks," said Cooper, an Army Reserve captain and Iraq War veteran.

The Pentagon review, established by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates in March, is designed to determine any changes in personnel policies, benefits, and the military justice system that might be needed to ensure openly gay service does not disrupt military operations and gay troops are not discriminated against.

Gates has insisted it is not meant to guage whether they support overturning the 1993 that only permits gays to serve if they keep their sexual orientation secret.

Gates' spokesman said earlier today that the Pentagon chief is relieved that Democrats have agreed that any repeal would not go into effect until after the Pentagon review, but said he remains concerned about moving too quickly.

"Secretary Gates continues to believe that ideally the DOD review should be
completed before there is any legislation to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell
law," Geoff Morrell said in a statement. "With Congress having indicated that is not possible, the Secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment."

Brown's opposition makes Sen. Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, the only GOP member to express support for the repeal measure in the committee, which Democrats plan to attach to this year's defense spending bill.

A separate vote on repeal before the full House of Representatives is also scheduled for Thursday.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has represented some of the 13,000 troops that have been discharged under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy since 1994, said he believes it is still possible for Brown to change his mind.

"I hope he realizes his concerns are addressed," Sarvis said. "It is very hard for me to see a senator from the Bay State voting against repeal."
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:29 PM   #44
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I've been trying to ease off from knee-jerk reactions about politics, but I can't help it in this case.

What a dickhead.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:52 PM   #45
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If everything in that article is accurate he doesn't seem to understand what's going on

Or he's being pressured somehow into voting no..I don't know, don't get it
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:06 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
If everything in that article is accurate he doesn't seem to understand what's going on

Or he's being pressured somehow into voting no..I don't know, don't get it
The Tea Party folks that got him the chair don't understand and they are the ones pressuring him.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:07 PM   #47
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there is a R following his name
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:13 PM   #48
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there is a R following his name
But he's supposed to be Miss Independent-I-don't-just-vote-along-party-lines

Now I can't get that song out of my head. And I admit it, I'm thinking about that Cosmo picture too (not in THAT way)
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:28 PM   #49
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This vote won't cost him.

He got elected as GOP.

He said would not vote 100 per cent party.

Last week he voted with Dems on finance reform

Republican Scott Brown crosses aisle to help Democrats with financial regulation vote | D.C. Now
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:02 PM   #50
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80% of Americans support the repeal. WTF is the big deal?
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:07 PM   #51
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I guess "multiple officers and enlisted personnel" say otherwise. I don't know how he could possibly speak to enough of them in order to have a representative sample.

He isn't paying attention to his own polls Or to public opinion at all, I guess
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:09 PM   #52
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partisan politics

i'll bet a majority supported the Bush bailout in fall of 2008


but it cost Bennett UT and Crist their GOP primaries


Scott can not get reelected in MA if he does not survive a GOP primary
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:18 AM   #53
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there is a R following his name
This is it. I don't understand how people who keep voting for Republicans keep acting surprised when the elected people act like Republicans!
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:00 AM   #54
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I still find it ironic that the Republicans are always the ones who want to have such tough restrictions imposed on things relating to homosexuality. This from the party of so-called "small government interference".

And James Inhofe is a fucking moron. Talk about warped thinking-that's not even close to being true about the military no matter what the situation. When it all comes down to it, they will defend each other to the death and lay their lives on the line for each other, and don't care a whit about anything else at that moment and time. I'm no military expert by any means and even I know that.

I really hope this thing gets repealed-keep pushing on, Obama. It's utterly insane we're still having a debate about this stuff at all. And studies-why the hell are we doing "studies". What in God's name is there to study? Life's WAY too short for people to overanalyze about things like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
once it happens, no one will even notice.

all that removing DADT will do is enable gay people to NOT HAVE TO LIE, that's all.

of late, i've become fairly good friends with a guy who is somewhat high up in the ranks and does really complex work at the NIH, goes to work in uniform, is a career officer, etc. and if it were discovered that he were gay, he says he could go to prison. now, if any of you were to talk to him, you'd know he was gay. yet, he can't have any online presence on any gay-interest website, he's very restrictive with his facebook profile and what can and cannot be posted on it, he has no pictures of his boyfriend at work, he doesn't talk about his weekend, he doesn't talk about his social life, he doesn't talk about visiting colleges with his boyfriend and his BF's teenage son, and all because if it got out he could blow his entire career.

all that the repeal of DADT would change is that he won't have to lie and construct these awful barriers between his work life and his personal life with the threat of being discharged (or jailed, so he claims, though i'm not sure how that works) hanging over his head.
If he does seem to think jail is something he'd have to worry about, that's really, really depressing. I don't think I've heard anything about jail time being a threat, just the threat of discharge, which still sucks as well, but if he is right about jail...wow.

I've also heard it understood that if somebody who is gay is serving in the military, if they get hurt or killed, or have a loved one who is hurt or killed, because they aren't "recognized" as being in a relationship, so to speak, they or their loved one is going to have a harder time being notified. I'm sure it also affects benefits for their partners, too. And that's just really sad. Really sad and really horribly pathetic. There's no reason your friend should have to go through life that way. I hope his days of having to hide will come to a swift end.

If I were a Democrat running this fall, I would use this as ammunition against the Republicans: "They say they're the 'support the troops' party, they say they're the ones who you should trust in terms of national defense and keeping us safe, but they're the ones who think it's perfectly fine to discharge totally capable men and women who could do and are doing things to keep us safe, all because of their sexual orientation." The Democrats really should do more things like that-I'd be thrilled to hear that on TV.

Angela
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:23 PM   #55
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Republicans and even Tea Baggers are only small government in word, only when it suits their needs.

Even our fellow libertarians aren't truly "small government".
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:42 PM   #56
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it's going to be gone by the end of the year.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #57
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this is also very insightful, was on Chris Matthews last night:


Quote:
Gay Soldier on DADT: "I Will Risk My Life; I Ask to Be Treated Simply Like Anyone Else in the Service."


Let me finish tonight with a letter from a soldier fighting in Afghanistan.

"I found out this soldier under my command was gay. I learned about it after he died, when his longtime partner wrote to me, not knowing my orientation, to tell me how much this staff sergeant had loved the army; how we were the only family he'd ever known.

In my own life, my partner has none of the privileges of a spouse. We have weathered three long deployments like any other couple might. My partner and I have happily accepted my various assignments because we're truly committed to the army, its soldiers and their families. But after our ten years together, my partner has earned the right to be told first about my death. He has earned the right to be recognized for his sacrifices just as any other spouse.

I deeply believe that America is fighting the right fight in Afghanistan. I believe in this battle against our enemies. And, I believe that the US Army is the single greatest force for good the world has ever known.

But I want to tell the guys I eat lunch with every day about my partner. After all, these are the guys I risk my life with -- the guys who think they know me. I can tell you every detail of how each of them met their wives; how one of them still feels guilty about an affair he never had, but thought about; how one of them cried so hard the day his son was born.

Yet they don't know much about my life. Over the years, I have become good at evading and changing subjects artfully. To slip up -- using the wrong pronoun when describing whom I was with during R&R, or mentioning who I talked to on Skype last night -- is no longer something I worry about. I have become so good at this lying game it eats at my soul.

A week ago, two of my friends were killed in a bombing. The days since then have bled into each other. It is usually not until the evening that I allow myself to think about these things. I will risk my life; I ask to be treated simply like anyone else in the service -- nothing more and nothing less."

That's from a serviceman fighting for his country.

I'd like to tell you his name so you could send him a note of support. You might want to call instead a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee which votes tomorrow on "Don't ask; don't tell." Here's the phone number for the US Senate: 202-224-3121.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:25 PM   #58
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"I ask to be treated simply like anyone else in the service -- nothing more and nothing less."
What a novel idea, huh?

I loved the part where the soldier mentioned all the stuff he knew about his straight friends. The topic of thinking about cheating on your spouse is okay to discuss, but heaven forbid a gay person mention their new boyfriend they're madly in love with? Yeah, that's fair. People say they don't want to hear about their love lives-well, there's stuff about straight people's love lives I don't want to hear, either.

I don't have a phone on me at the moment, but if there's an online link for this specific issue, I'll gladly go and share my thoughts. Thanks for sharing that, Irvine (and yay to Chris Matthews for sharing it with the nation, too).

Also, my condolances to that soldier on the loss of his friends. May they and the other soldier mentioned in that piece who died rest in peace. Thanks to you all for your fine service to the country.

Angela
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #59
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Watching House C-Span live, the Murphy amendment will end DTDA.

The vote is coming up latter today. Requires Senate vote, too.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:55 PM   #60
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14,000 people have been forced out of the U S military since then because of their sexual orientation.
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