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U2democrat 11-19-2008 09:00 AM

Will Obama end Don't Ask Don't Tell?
The end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
Posted: 06:15 PM ET

From CNN's Jamie McIntyre and Laurie Ure

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The lead sponsor of a bill to overturn the controversial Don't Ask, Don't Tell law said the law could conceivably be passed in the first year of President-elect Obama's administration.

President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military.

A transition office spokesman refused to comment for this story but two months ago, Obama signaled he would move cautiously, telling the Philadelphia Gay News newspaper he would first get the military on board:

"Although I have consistently said I would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I believe that the way to do it is to make sure that we are working through processes, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be," he said.

A bill to replace "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", with a policy of nondiscrimination, has 149 co-sponsors in the house, including California's Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat. Tauscher said with new administration, the timing is right to try and pass the bill.

"The key here is to get bills that pass the House and the Senate, that we can get to president-elect Obama to sign, and I think that we can do that, certainly the first year of the administration," Tauscher said in an interview with CNN.

Gay rights advocates say it's important for the new President to avoid the ham-fisted attempt President Clinton tried in 1993, when he naively promised to lift the ban by executive order.

That roiled the Pentagon brass — including then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell — and provoked a fierce backlash from conservatives in Congress.

As a result Congress stripped President Clinton of his power to change the policy and forced him to accept the Don't Ask Don't Tell compromise — a law that can only be repealed by Congress.

But after 15 years and four wars, attitudes in the Pentagon — and among the public — have changed dramatically.

A Washington Post-ABC news poll this summer found 75 percent of Americans support allowing gays to serve openly, compared to only 45 percent back in 1993.

More than 100 retired U.S. military leaders — including the former head of the Naval Academy — have signed a statement calling for an end to the military's "don't ask-don't tell" policy, according to a California-based think tank that supports the movement.

Retired Admiral Charles Larson, the former Naval Academy superintendent, tops the list of 104 retired general and admirals who want the government to repeal the policy, the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, announced Monday.

BVS 11-19-2008 09:15 AM

Yes, but I agree he has to be careful about it...

DrTeeth 11-19-2008 09:19 AM

Let's hope so :up:

indra 11-19-2008 09:28 AM


Originally Posted by U2democrat (Post 5617808)
A Washington Post-ABC news poll this summer found 75 percent of Americans support allowing gays to serve openly, compared to only 45 percent back in 1993.

That's a very encouraging change. I remember in 1993 there was pretty intense opposition to allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

I also think this might be encouraging to gay marriage supporters. From 45% to 75% in 15 years is a huge swing, and I foresee a similar swing in support for gay marriage. The military has always been a sacred cow of sorts, just like "traditional marriage" is to many people. It's going to happen, and within a few years people will wonder what the hell was the big deal.

Irvine511 11-19-2008 09:32 AM

and after it happens, we'll get conservatives telling us how, really, all along, they were for the repeal of DADT just like a "true" conservative would have been for the integration of the armed forces before 1945.

sorry, cranky today.

MrsSpringsteen 09-23-2009 10:05 AM

I was hazed for 2 years, gay sailor says
Navy re-examines its handling of case after ex-dog handler suffers PTSD
The Associated Press
updated 9:42 a.m. ET, Wed., Sept . 23, 2009

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland - The Navy is reviewing how it handled the case of a gay sailor abused by fellow servicemen in Bahrain for two years until he sought a discharge by coming out to his commanding officer, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Joseph Rocha, now 23, decided to leave the Navy in 2007 by telling his commander he was gay, in violation of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder from the constant hazing while he served with military dog handlers based in Bahrain to support the Iraq war.

An internal Navy investigation into his unit found dozens of examples of hazing and sexual harassment against multiple sailors between 2005 and 2006. The result of the investigation was not clear; a copy of the report released under the Freedom of Information Act has all recommendations blacked out.

Now, a congressman who is a former admiral has asked the Navy for information about the harassment, the service's internal investigation, and an explanation as to why the head of the military working dog unit at the time was promoted.

'Good individual'
The Sept. 11 letter from Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak to Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus followed a story about the Navy findings of abuse that was first reported by a California news organization earlier this month.

"Without a question, it heightens and makes more salient this issue," said Sestak. "It highlights the loss of another good individual."

A Navy spokesman said the case and its outcomes are being reviewed.

"The incidents that occurred within the Military Working Dog Division at Naval Support Activity Bahrain do not reflect who we are as a Navy," said Cmdr. Cappy Surette, a Navy spokesman. "The Navy is now looking into the handling of this situation more carefully."

The Chief of Naval Operations directed Commander Navy Installations Command on Tuesday to review the actions taken after the earlier investigation and report back on Oct. 6.

"CNIC may use information from the ongoing review by Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, who has previously directed his staff to review the outcomes of the JAGMAN investigation," Surette said. "Any subsequent action will be informed by the CNIC review."

Opponents of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy say Rocha was trapped: he couldn't report the abuse because that could reveal his sexual orientation. They say the policy also played a role in the abuse: Others in the unit repeatedly asked Rocha if he was gay — a violation of the "don't ask" provision — because he would not avail himself of prostitutes who visited their quarters. And, in the end, Rocha's PTSD prompted him to tell the Navy he is gay, resulting in his expulsion.

Sestak also is requesting information regarding Chief Petty Officer Michael Toussaint, who was responsible for the unit and was later promoted to senior chief.

"It would astound me if he was promoted if these allegations are true," Sestak said in an interview. "What kind of a command climate is that?"

Toussaint has been deployed. His location could not be released and he could not be reached for comment, said Cmdr. Greg Giesen, a Navy spokesman.

Shaun Hogan of Maine, a former Bahrain colleague of Rocha's who is now a reservist, said Rocha was treated worse than others who were hazed because Rocha was believed to be gay. Hogan said some in the unit "blatantly asked" if Rocha was gay. It was Hogan who obtained the Navy's report and shared it with Youth Radio, an Oakland, California, news organization that broke the story.

"He was one in a large number of people who were abused for a variety of different reasons," Hogan said.

Rocha graduated at the top of his class in military police training school in Texas. He received favorable performance evaluations throughout his career, Sestak noted in his letter.

But within a month of his arrival in Bahrain in 2005 to join the handlers and their dogs in seeking out hidden explosives, Rocha said he found an abusive atmosphere in which he was hazed repeatedly, even though he never spoke of his sexual orientation.

"What made my rite of passage different is that I refused to have sex with prostitutes," Rocha said. "In doing so, I gave them reason enough for them to think I was gay and they took it upon themselves to punish me for it for two years."

Aaron Belkin, who studies the "don't ask, don't tell" policy as director of the Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said while Rocha's case is extreme, the harsh treatment is not an isolated incident.

"Research shows that you can't prevent anti-gay abuse as long as discrimination remains official policy," Belkin said.

Some Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation to repeal the 1993 law. President Barack Obama pledged as a candidate to end the ban, but has not done so.

Rocha said he enlisted in the Navy in 2004 to demonstrate his commitment to earning an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after he wasn't admitted to the school.

In June 2007, he was accepted at the academy prep school in Newport, Rhode Island, where candidates can build the academic skills they need to be accepted to the four-year academy. While there, Rocha said depression resulting from his experience in Bahrain made him decide to tell school officials he was gay. He was isolated from other students for two months, then honorably discharged in October 2007.

"I was faced with the idea of being in a navy that condoned this for another decade," Rocha said. "I wouldn't have allowed myself to live like that anymore."

A letter from Rocha's doctor at the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Francisco confirms that he has been diagnosed with PTSD.

Rocha, now a student at the University of San Diego, hopes he can one day return to serve openly in the military as a Marine Corps officer.

"I'm just waiting for the policy to be repealed," Rocha said.

MrsSpringsteen 02-02-2010 12:49 PM

Top military officer: Gays should serve

Admiral Mullen says he is deeply troubled by ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy
NBC News and news services
updated 1:34 p.m. ET, Tues., Feb. 2, 2010

WASHINGTON - The military's top uniformed officer declared Tuesday that gays should be allowed to serve openly in uniform, arguing that it is "the right thing to do."

It was the strongest statement yet from the Pentagon on this volatile issue.

Adm. Mike Mullen told the Senate Armed Services Committee he is deeply troubled by a policy that forces people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

Mullen said he knows many will disagree about abandoning the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and said there are practical obstacles to lifting the 1993 ban. But he said he thinks the military can handle it. Mullen is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chief military adviser to President Barack Obama.

Before Mullen's statement, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is tapping his chief legal adviser and a four-star Army general to lead a landmark study on how the military would lift its ban on openly gay service members.

Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Gen. Carter Ham, who leads Army forces in Europe, will conduct the yearlong assessment.

Gates' announcement marks a measured step toward Obama's goal of eliminating the military's policy against gays, which is based on a 1993 law. Ham is a former enlisted infantryman who rose to command troops in northern Iraq. Johnson played an integral role in the effort to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

The yearlong study could pave the way for the biggest social change to the military since the 1948 executive order for the racial integration of units.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said at the hearing that he opposed any changes to the existing policy, declaring that the military has "been working well" without openly-gay service.

"'Don't ask, don't tell' has been an imperfect but effective policy," said McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee. "And at this moment, when we are asking more of our military than at any time in recent memory, we should not repeal this law."

His remarks were in direct contrast to Mullen.

A more lenient standard
Gates and Mullen are to outline a more lenient standard for enforcing the current ban while the yearlong study is completed. The interim policy would make it harder for a third party to turn in a gay service member and would raise the standard for evidence that the service member is gay before the person could be dismissed.

Under the 1993 law, engaging in homosexual conduct — even you don't tell anyone — can been enough to qualify a person for dismissal.

The law was intended as a compromise between then-President Bill Clinton, who wanted to lift the military's ban on gays entirely, and a reluctant Congress and military that said doing so would threaten order.

According to figures released Monday, the Defense Department last year dismissed the fewest number of service members for violating its the policy than it had in more than a decade. Overall, more than 10,900 troops have been fired under the policy. The 2009 figure — 428 — was dramatically lower than the 2008 total of 619.

End of a dream
David Hall, a former Air Force sergeant, said he was discharged in 2002 after someone else reported that he was gay.

"That ended it," said Hall, who now works for a gay rights advocacy group. "Just like that, based off what one person said, ended my dream of getting to fly planes."

Irvine511 02-02-2010 01:05 PM


"'Don't ask, don't tell' has been an imperfect but effective policy," said McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee. "And at this moment, when we are asking more of our military than at any time in recent memory, we should not repeal this law."

effective at what?

anyway, my guess is that Obama will slowly hollow out the policy. he's not going to do anything dramatic that will send shockwaves of gay panic up anyone's leg. but seeing as how DADT discharges have dropped dramatically in the past year (and had been declining for the past 10 years), a suspension-and-study of the policy is going to effectively render it meaningless, and then it will be quietly done away with.

props to Mullen. he also said that DADT violated the "integrity" of the US Armed Forces.

he's absolutely right.

anitram 02-02-2010 02:15 PM


Originally Posted by Irvine511 (Post 6647548)
effective at what?

This is the same John McCain who four years ago said:


And I understand the opposition to it, and I‘ve had these debates and discussions, but the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, Senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.

Irvine511 02-02-2010 02:20 PM

well, Gates is the SecDef, so i suppose the leadership of the military has said that we ought to change the policy.

of course, it was Truman who desegregated the armed forces in 1948, and not the generals, but, you know, racism is wrong and stuff.

martha 02-02-2010 07:17 PM


Originally Posted by Irvine511 (Post 6647609)
well, Ga
of course, it was Truman who desegregated the armed forces in 1948, and not the generals, but, you know, racism is wrong and stuff.

The black soldiers should have waited until the white soldiers were ready to desegregate.

PhilsFan 02-02-2010 08:43 PM


Originally Posted by anitram (Post 6647606)
This is the same John McCain who four years ago said:


This just goes to show how much running for president fucked up John McCain. He sold out to the base to try to win the election, and he's a completely different person now.

It was quite a shame. I remember saying before the nominations that McCain would be the most reasonable choice for the GOP. At the time, he was. The transformation from November 2007 to November 2008 was unbelievably sad.

Irvine511 02-02-2010 10:45 PM

you almost start to feel sorry for Grandpa Walnuts by the end:

YouTube - Cranky McCain Chastises Mullen And Gates For Expressing Opinion On DADT Before Consulting Him

deep 02-02-2010 10:50 PM

he thinks he has a shot for the 2012 GOP nomination

a boy can dream, can't he?

Kieran McConville 02-03-2010 12:27 AM

Seventy is the new sixty, as Arnold Vinick might have said. But no, he doesn't have a shot.

deep 02-12-2010 01:05 AM

Don't have a problem with gay men or lesbians.

It's just those god damn homeosexuals.


Support for Gays in the Military Depends on the Question -

BVS 02-12-2010 01:16 AM


deep 02-12-2010 01:26 AM

gay men and lesbians are terms that represent 'others' that are apart form me

homosexuals might try to have sex with me

BVS 02-12-2010 01:36 AM

No, I get the difference in how the language is perceived, I just don't get the changes in numbers...

Why is "strongly favor" the opposite of the other numbers?

deep 02-12-2010 02:06 AM

homosexuals get 59% in favor and 29% opposed

gay men and lesbians get 70% in favor and 19% opposed

martha 02-12-2010 09:24 AM

Because homophobes are idiots.

Irvine511 02-12-2010 09:43 AM


Originally Posted by martha (Post 6660379)
Because homophobes are idiots.

or at least "ignorant." there's no other explanation, is there?

and look at these poll numbers:


75% back letting gays serve openly
By Ed O'Keefe and Jennifer Agiesta
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 12, 2010; A25

Three-quarters of Americans say that they support openly gay people serving in the U.S. military, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a finding that could lend momentum to the Obama administration's effort to dismantle the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."

The level of public support for allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly far outpaces that in the spring of 1993, when Congress and the Clinton administration established the policy.

Civilian and military officials held their first meetings this week to begin a year-long review of "don't ask, don't tell," which forbids commanders to ask about service members' sexuality and requires the discharge of openly gay men and women. President Obama called for the policy's repeal last month in his State of the Union address, and the military's top civilian and military leadership has also expressed personal support for a repeal.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates last week appointed Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe, and Jeh C. Johnson, Defense Department general counsel, lead a team to study a possible repeal.

Ham flew from Germany to Washington this week to meet with Johnson, according to senior defense officials, but most meetings were postponed because of the snowstorm that paralyzed the capital. They and their team hope to deliver recommendations to Gates by mid-March on how to revise the current policy to de-emphasize "third-party outings" -- when another person reveals a service member's homosexuality -- according to several military officials. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

Once the study is complete, the Pentagon team will determine how best to survey active-duty service members and their families on any change in the policy. Some officials favor asking the Rand Corp. to provide an updated version of the 1993 study it conducted.

The percentage of Americans who say they support gays openly serving is the same as a Post-ABC News poll found in July 2008; both are far above the 44 percent who said so in May 1993. In the new poll, majorities across party lines favor such a policy, with support among Democrats (82 percent) and independents (77 percent) higher than among Republicans (64 percent).

The poll also reveals several sharp demographic divides. Men (65 percent) and seniors (69 percent) are far less likely than are women (84 percent) and young adults (81 percent under age 30) to say that gays should be allowed to serve if they have disclosed their sexual orientation. Knowing a gay person makes a big difference: Among those who say they have a gay friend or family member, 81 percent support allowing gay people to serve openly, compared with 66 percent who say they do not know someone who is gay.

The poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 4-8 among a random national sample of 1,004 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

MadelynIris 02-21-2010 11:33 AM

Saw Petraus on a Sunday morning news show. I think it's a done deal, they just trying to figure out how to implement it in the least disruptive manner as possible.

Irvine511 02-21-2010 05:51 PM

^ saw the same, and agreed.

MrsSpringsteen 05-04-2010 08:09 AM

Good to know there were such men "protecting" our country.

Huffington Post

Tennessee Republican congressional candidate Ron Kirkland recently said that when he served in the military during the Vietnam War, gay service members "were taken care of" in ways that he could not begin to describe.

Kirkland's candid remarks came at a Tea Party forum last week when the GOP hopeful criticized the Obama administration's support for overturning the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Conservative House candidate Randy Smith offered a similar reaction to the measure at the event when he declared he "wouldn't want to share a shower with a homosexual."

The Associated Press reports:

Kirkland, a Vietnam veteran, said of his time in the military: "I can tell you if there were any homosexuals in that group, they were taken care of in ways I can't describe to you."

[Randy] Smith, who served in the first Iraqi war, added: "I definitely wouldn't want to share a shower with a homosexual. We took care of that kind of stuff, just like (Kirkland) said."

The candidates justified their opposition to repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by arguing that ending the policy is simply a matter of "political correctness" that would place unneeded stress on military service members.

The Jackson Sun reports that both Kirkland and Smith faced a backlash after suggesting that gays were "taken care of" during their independent service experiences:

Comments Republican congressional candidates Dr. Ron Kirkland and Randy Smith made about gays being "taken care of" in the military at a forum Thursday night in Paris prompted a backlash against the two on Friday, with an official from a state gay rights group saying the candidates should apologize.

The Tennessee Republican Party reportedly had no comment on the candidates' comments related to repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" when asked about the matter by the AP.

BVS 05-04-2010 08:14 AM

Tea baggers keeping it classy :up:

Yeah, it's not about hate :|

martha 05-04-2010 08:18 AM


Originally Posted by BVS (Post 6750011)

Yeah, it's not about hate :|

Or fear.

KhanadaRhodes 05-04-2010 09:59 AM

:rolleyes: glad to see they've always had such an inflated view of themselves. honey, just because someone's gay does not mean they will find you attractive. i'll never understand that part about homophobia. a straight female does not think every man she sees is hot, why would a gay male?

deep 05-04-2010 04:06 PM

because they are still - men

Originally Posted by KhanadaRhodes (Post 6750101)
:rolleyes: glad to see they've always had such an inflated view of themselves. honey, just because someone's gay does not mean they will find you attractive. i'll never understand that part about homophobia. a straight female does not think every man she sees is hot, why would a gay male?

they are worried other men will have an inflated view for them

because they have inflated views for most anything female, being the dogs they are

(hubba, hubba :sexywink::sexywink: your panda avater is hot!
it is female, right?)

KhanadaRhodes 05-04-2010 11:18 PM

haha, touché!

Originally Posted by deep (Post 6750560)
they are worried other men will have an inflated view for them

because they have inflated views for most anything female, being the dogs they are

(hubba, hubba :sexywink::sexywink: your panda avater is hot!
it is female, right?)


MrsSpringsteen 05-05-2010 08:08 AM

Maybe some men who think all women are attracted to them think that all gay men are too. They're just too irresistible. And of course all gay men just think about sex and want to have sex with any and every guy 24/7, so there you go.

MrsSpringsteen 05-14-2010 12:35 PM

Gay people, that third group (WTF?), just wouldn't be worth fighting and dying for.

Think Progress � Inhofe Says U.S. Soldiers Will Be Unwilling To Fight And Die For Their Gay Comrades

INHOFE: For those of us — and I’m one of them — who have gone through the military, gone through basic training, and you stop and think — it just doesn’t make any sense. Second of all, it’s just not working. You have women, men, then you have a third group to deal with, and they’re not equipped to do that.

And you know — you hear the stories all the time. A military guy — I happen to be Army, and Army and Marines always feel that when we’re out there, we’re not doing it for the flag or the country; we’re doing it for the guy in the next foxhole. And that would dramatically change that.

Inhofe shouldn’t assume that all members of the military are as homophobic as he is. A December 2006 survey of servicemembers who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan found that 73 percent of those polled were “comfortable with lesbians and gays.” The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has reported that more than 500 U.S. soldiers are “out” to their colleagues and continue to serve. When Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen announced his personal belief that now is the time to repeal DADT, he cited the fact that he has served with gay comrades since 1968.

“I also believe that the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change,” he added, giving members of the military more credit than Inhofe did. “I never underestimate their ability to adapt.”

YouTube - Sen. Inhofe: Soldiers Will Be Unwilling To Fight For Gay Comrades

BVS 05-14-2010 12:40 PM

Why is it that those with the most closed minds always have their damn mouths open?

corianderstem 05-14-2010 12:56 PM


Vincent Vega 05-14-2010 01:33 PM

Not surprising, though, coming from a person who actively supported a law initiative in Uganda to introduce the death sentence for openly gay people.

deep 05-14-2010 02:02 PM


Think Progress � Inhofe Says U.S. Soldiers Will Be Unwilling To Fight And Die For Their Gay Comrades and Some Unattractive Obese People.
(basically anyone normal people would find sexually undesirable)

martha 05-14-2010 05:48 PM

How do these people sleep at night?

anitram 05-14-2010 05:58 PM


Originally Posted by martha (Post 6761478)
How do these people sleep at night?

Probably very well.

They wear their bigotry as a badge of honour.

In other news:

Gay Marriage Opponents Inch Closer to Death - The Sexist - Washington City Paper

KhanadaRhodes 05-15-2010 12:54 AM

if someone doesn't want to join the armed forces for fear of having to fight alongside one of "them thar homos", then fine. don't enlist. there's no active draft, no one's forcing anyone to do anything. :shrug:

deep 05-24-2010 06:49 PM

Effort To Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Picks Up Steam : NPR

here we go?

deep 05-24-2010 09:01 PM


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

Irvine511 05-25-2010 11:26 AM

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.

MrsSpringsteen 05-25-2010 12:27 PM

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."

corianderstem 05-25-2010 12:29 PM

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.

MrsSpringsteen 05-25-2010 12:52 PM

If everything in that article is accurate he doesn't seem to understand what's going on :slant:

Or he's being pressured somehow into voting no..I don't know, don't get it

BVS 05-25-2010 01:06 PM


Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen (Post 6775378)
If everything in that article is accurate he doesn't seem to understand what's going on :slant:

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.

deep 05-25-2010 01:07 PM

there is a R following his name

MrsSpringsteen 05-25-2010 01:13 PM


Originally Posted by deep (Post 6775404)
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)

deep 05-25-2010 01:28 PM

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

Irvine511 05-25-2010 02:02 PM

80% of Americans support the repeal. WTF is the big deal?

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