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Boxer and Feinstein on repealing #DADT in the lame-duck session

DADT trial

This news from yesterday is somewhat dated, but we thought it might be of interest to folks. Cross-posted at LGBTPOV.

By Karen Ocamb

Boxer news conf dadtAt a press conference Thursday morning with about 13 Senate colleagues and LGBT rights groups, California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (pictured) called for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the lame duck session of Congress. Both senators have been reliable LGBT allies, though they have taken different paths to supporting LGBT equality. Recently re-elected Boxer is a longtime liberal who opposed DADT when it first came to up for a vote in 1992. But she was slower to support marriage equality. Feinstein, on the other hand, has been a more conservative “Blue Dog” Democrat, who has long had gays on her staff but was not exactly a leader on LGBT issues – until she came out for marriage equality. Feinstein’s up for re-election in 2012 unless she retires. In 1993, when the Defense Authorization bill came to the floor with DADT language in it, Feinstein voted for a Boxer amendment (to which Boxer referred today) to remove the DADT language and replace it with language leaving the policy up to the president. The amendment failed 33 to 63.

LGBT Californians – this is how your senators spoke up for you this morning:

Feinstein said:

“I’m an 18-year member of the Judiciary Committee. I’m not a lawyer, but I believe in my heart of hearts that ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is unconstitutional.

And as a matter of fact, a federal district court has found that, in fact, this is the case. The reason is simple: this policy treats the same class of people differently, and that, I think, deprives them of their right to equality under the law.

Additionally, as has been said, this policy denies our nation good talent. That’s just plain wrong.

Let me just give you three cases:

This cost us Lacye Presley, a United States Army medic. She was awarded a Bronze Star for actions in Iraq. And she was discharged for being a lesbian.

It cost us Anthony Woods, a West Point graduate. He was also awarded a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal for leadership in Iraq. And he was discharged due to his sexuality.

It cost us Dan Choi and Steve Benjamin. Both are Arab linguists whose skills were desperately needed. Both served in Iraq. And both were discharged for being gay.

Now thousands more have been discharged, not because they didn’t excel at their jobs, but because of their sexual orientation.

This law is unconstitutional, and the Senate should take action before the Supreme Court and make the record crystal clear that we agree.

Thank you very much.”

Boxer said:

“I for you leadership, Mark and Kirsten – thank you.”

Also at the press conference, called by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), were Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Roland Burris (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Chris Coons (D-DE).

Lieberman said, “We are here to make clear that the reports of death of the movement to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ have been greatly exaggerated.” Lieberman also said it was “very clear” that the 60 votes are there, according to The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld. She reported:

“I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the Defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it,” Lieberman told reporters at a press conference, naming GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Richard Lugar as “Yes” votes. “Time is an inexcusable reason not to get this done.”

Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Third Way issued a joint statement following the press conference saying the reaffirmation of the Senate leadership and the White House’s commitment to end DADT, along with this morning’s Senate press conference, “are encouraging signs. There is no reason why the Senate cannot complete the work of repeal this year which is supported by nearly eighty percent of Americans, said the groups.”

The joint statement also noted Majority Leader Harry Reid’s announcement Wednesday night that he intends to bring the Defense Authorization bill with the DADT repeal amendment to the Senate floor after Thanksgiving recess. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said he would hold a hearing in early December on the report of the Pentagon Working Group studying DADT implementation.

At his confirmation hearing Thursday morning, however, Gen. Carter Ham, who is in charge of the report, said it is not ready to be released, though he’d tried to expedite it, in concert with Defense Sec. Robert Gates’ office. Gates has said he wants the repeal handled legislatively this year. Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell said “that’s what we as an administration are pushing for, and we certainly see the merit in using that as the legislative vehicle to ultimately get to repeal.”

Not to sound too cynical – but there have been so many ups and downs with DADT – I’m not believing anything until DADT is dead. Until then – the push for repeal continues, as does Log Cabin’s court federal court fight to have it finally and officially declared unconstitutional.

44 Comments

  • 1. Kate  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Hey, folks — I'm back from Tanzania and glad to see that the good news here continues. (Here's hoping you remember me…..) What a trip we had!!! I can't even begin to tell how fabulous it was — even better than I could have scripted it, had I been able to do so. Franck, I waved at you on Madagascar. The Tanzanian people were the kindest I've ever met, and I am voting for them to be in charge of world peace.

  • 2. Wine Country Lurker  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

    <cite>"Not to sound too cynical – but there have been so many ups and downs with DADT – I’m not believing anything until DADT is dead."</cite>

    Ditto.

    Checkin' the box.

  • 3. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Welcome home Kate. Glad you had a great time…where are the pics?

  • 4. Kate  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Hee hee hee — it will take me a while to wade through the over 5000 exposures (yes, you read that correctly….) and get them posted at my online photo site, but I'll let you know when they're up. Thanks for being interested!

  • 5. Kate  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:22 am

    ps — by wading through, I mean limiting which of the 5000 to post, so don't worry that they will all be there…..

  • 6. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Welcome home!! You've been missed :-)
    Pix please!!

  • 7. Mouse  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Hey Richard A. Walter-Jernigan,

    Congratulations on getting married yesterday! Hope you are having a great time on your honeymoon!

  • 8. anonygrl  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:36 am

    KATE! Welcome home! :)

    So glad you had a good trip, and I can't wait to see pix too!!!

  • 9. Kate  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:36 am

    How exciting to hear this! Can hardly wait for the report from you and BZ.

  • 10. Ann S.  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:37 am

  • 11. Ann S.  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I'm looking forward to seeing them! Welcome back!

  • 12. Ronnie  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:39 am

    The new music video for "Lover" from Tom Gross features soldiers who have been discharged under DADT…this is the description for the video:

    ""Lover" tells a story very rarely told: of the loss endured by partners of gay servicemembers who are killed in battle.

    The video features Goss as the bereaved partner of an army soldier (DC actor Ben Horen) killed while on duty in Afghanistan. Among those playing medics who come to the aid of the wounded soldier are several former servicemembers who were discharged under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy: Mike Almy, David Hall, and Danny Hernandez, all of whom are active members of SLDN. Keith Bryant stars as a fellow soldier.

    The video, Goss's fourth, was filmed in DC and Alexandria. is being directed by DC residents Aram Vartian and Michael Key of DC; Dylan Comstock is director of photography."

    (me) & here is the video….enjoy…..<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN56zvQTeWk

  • 13. Kate  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Thanks so much, Anonygrl. I couldn't believe how close the animals were — on many occasions, my good telephoto was simply too much lens for the situation, and I had to switch to my wide-angle. We even had cheetahs stand with their paws on the hood of the Land Cruiser.

  • 14. Ronnie  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:40 am

    & check the box before you click "post comment"….. ; ) …Ronnie

  • 15. Kate  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:43 am

    One of the best things about the trip was seeing how happy everyone was about Obama being elected. Kids would wave and shout "O-ba-ma!!!" from the side of the road. I even took a photo of a Masai warrior wearing an Obama pin! Had I thought about it ahead of time, I would have taken a bunch of Obama pins to give out. It was quite a treat to finally have a president other parts of the world are pleased about.

  • 16. anonygrl  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Jealousy is now popping out in big lumps all over me, just so you know.

    :)

  • 17. Ann S.  |  November 19, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Kate, that's very cool! We got a (somewhat) similar reaction when we visited England in 2009.

  • 18. Ed  |  November 19, 2010 at 7:02 am

    OT, but why in the world didn't Maggie, or Bryan, or hell, even Tony Perkins testify at the prop8 trial?
    (not that their side needed any help getting slaughtered…..but anyway)

    Ed

  • 19. Sagesse  |  November 19, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Subscribing from work.

  • 20. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Not one of them is an expert in anything.

  • 21. anonygrl  |  November 19, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Absolutely the truth. They are all lobbyists, not experts when it comes to putting them on the stand, so none of their testimony would have been useful. Not to mention that they probably would not have been able to stand up well under cross examination. Brian would have retreated to pithy aphorisms, Maggie can get beligerant and Tony might have said all SORTS of things that would have only gone to prove animus by the Proponents.

  • 22. Mackenzie  |  November 19, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Agreed, it seems like every time it looks like we are about to make a breakthrough, something has to happen. I will have guarded optimism. Until that time I will continue to email my state senators frequently about this. I have also been emailing Mccain to let him know just how much of a two faced, self indulging, uncaring, old piece of work he is being. Not that it really probably helps, but I do feel better afterwards. LOL

  • 23. rocketeer500  |  November 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Well, hopefully, the Senate will repeal DADT by Christmas. That would be a nice Christmas presents to this country.

  • 24. Alan E.  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Holy crap 5000! Lots to wade through.

  • 25. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:02 am

    They are going after the Jews now…

    Westboro Baptist Church returns, protests Jews

    Demonstrators from the Westboro Baptist Church visited Wayne State on the morning of Nov. 18 to protest Jewish people and other demographics.

    Four members of the WBC –- which is based in Kansas and is best known for its explicit homophobia and disruption of military funerals – organized at the intersection of Second and Warren avenues, near the Life Science building.

    Their purpose for the 23-minute visit, during which they sang racist parodies of the Israeli national anthem, Hava Nagila and Hey Jude (“Hey Jews”), was to protest Hillel of Metro Detroit, “the foundation for Jewish campus life,” according to the organization’s website.

    According to the WBC’s website, the “Jews have spent centuries coming up with ‘traditions’ that have nothing to do with scripture much less obeying the commandments of God. They have made an idol out of their unscriptural rituals.”

    Full Article: http://thesouthend.wayne.edu/index.php/article/20

  • 26. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Ronnie, how come your post is at the bottom…but is posted at 1:40pm? Or am I the only person seeing this?

  • 27. Mark  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Maggie was too busy sitting in the courtroom, taking off her shoes.

  • 28. Wine Country Lurker  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

    WTFingF????????????????????

  • 29. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Did you read the next two sentences where I left off?

    The website also called Jewish people Christ-killers.

    But they also found time to shout “God hates (homosexuals).”

    Those people are just evil.

  • 30. Ann S.  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:10 am

    The more groups those asshats go after, the more attention they get, is what they must figure. I figure that the more groups they go after, the quicker they'll lose any last tiny shred of credibility they may have had with anyone.

  • 31. Wine Country Lurker  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

    No, I didn't click on the link and read the rest of it. HolyCrapolie. W.T.Fing.F!?!?!?!? These people are complete nut-jobs!

  • 32. Ronnie  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:20 am

    "They have made an idol out of their unscriptural rituals.”

    Yeah because waving disgusting, hateful, & disrespectful signs & rewording gospel songs, & national anthems to be just as disgusting as those swayback bigoted WBC troglodytes are not aspects of "Idol worship"……excuse while I chortle into my hot cocoa to defuse the loudness of my amusement of their reading their hypocrisy ….<3…Ronnie

  • 33. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Official in the World’s Largest Organization of Child Rapists Warns of Gay Threat to Freedom

    Pretty spot on quote from article:

    The Catholic church is now trying to portray itself as a champion of the intellectual freedom? Did I wake up in Superman’s Bizarro World this morning?

    Christianity has gotten very good at accusing others of doing the very things that it is guilty of doing. Christianity says that homosexuals are “recruiting” people to their side, somehow turning straight people into gay people. I’ve known a lot of gay people over the years and not one of them has ever tried to “recruit” me. But every time I turn around, some Christian is trying to get me to accept Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior and become a Christian — and sometimes they have the gall to come to my door to do it! Christianity says that gay activists are trying to inject the “gay agenda” into public schools. The only people I know of who are trying to infiltrate public schools with their agenda — sometimes in appallingly deceptive ways — are Christians. And now this retired cardinal says that gay activists are persecuting Christians?

    Apparently, Christians are willing to say absolutely anything — no matter how hateful, untrue or absurd — to paint themselves as victims.

    Full Article: http://atheistoasis.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/offi

  • 34. Ronnie  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I forgot to subscribe when I posted a music video & it says that the comment with the video is still in moderation….<3…Ronnie

  • 35. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

    At least there is some positive action going on throughout the US right now.

    In Congress: The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act will require higher education institutions which receive federal funding to have policies in place dealing explicitly with bullying and harassment regarding sexual orientation, race, and gender.

    New Jersey State Legislature: The new law up for a vote requires teachers to have suicide prevention training and mandates school districts to adopt anti-bullying procedures. One such procedure requires districts to establish firm deadlines for dealing with bullying complaints.

    Dallas Texas Independent School District: The school board of the Dallas Independent School District has enacted anti-bullying policies effective immediately. The definition of bullying as stated by the school district includes cyberbullying and cyberstalking. The school board passed the measure unanimously on Nov. 18.

    Punishments for students range from counseling to expulsion. No one may be bullied due to national origin, family background, political beliefs and other reasons. The Dallas Independent School District took up the measure after a series of gay bullying cases and suicides made headlines nationwide.

    Idaho Statehouse Rally: LeFavour plans on submitting tough anti-bullying legislation during the next legislative session. It would mend the current Idaho Human Rights Act.

    Read More: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20101119/us_ac/7235044

  • 36. Mackenzie  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Here is a math problem.

    What do you get when you add;

    75-80 percent public support for repeal of DADT+a Federal court ruling declaring DADT unconstitutional+a majority of Senate members supporting repeal of DADT+ white house support of repeal on DADT+ the secretary of DEFENSE supporting repeal of DADT+ The leaders of the ARMY,NAVY,AIRFORCE, and the top military leader all supporting repeal of DADT+ plus a survey just conducted by the Pentagon where 1/4 of the soldiers who bothered to vote, stated by about 70ish percent that repealing DADT would have minimal to no effect on unit cohesion and moral+ a petition of over 12000 service members and their families asking for repeal of DADT=?

    Most would say it is a no brainer

    Mccain wants to Filibuster this vote.
    enough said

  • 37. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 8:51 am

    McCain's brain is fried by the Arizona sun.

  • 38. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 19, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Jeromie Cancel Guilty on Second-Degree Murder

    A Manhattan jury took less than a day to convict Jeromie Cancel in the 2008 killing of Kevin Pravia, a gay college student.

    “Jeromie Cancel committed a cold-blooded and senseless murder of a young man,” Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, said in a written statement. “Evidence presented at this trial revealed that the defendant took a perverse pride in this crime, and it is my hope that this verdict brings a measure of comfort to the family of the victim. I would like to thank the prosecutors and investigators for their work on this case, and the members of the jury for bringing this criminal to justice.”

    More: http://www.gaycitynews.com/articles/2010/11/18/ga

  • 39. Sarah  |  November 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Duh! You have to ADD in another roadblock to justify putting it off some more!

  • 40. Chris in Lathrop  |  November 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Bibliolaters will be Bibliolaters. >:)

  • 41. Richard A. Jernigan  |  November 20, 2010 at 2:14 am

    As was stated so eloquently above, let's not be like North Korea and the other countries who codify and give state-sponsored sanction to discrimination. let's move forward into equality for all of our citizens.

  • 42. Rhie  |  November 20, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Heh I remember when yesterday's news was the breaking news in the paper…

  • 43. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  November 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    fun Fun FUN! Yay! Kate's back!

  • 44. Woodworking Projects&hellip  |  May 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Steve’s Woodworking Site…

    […]despite the fact that the web sites we link to underneath are absolutely unrelated to ours, we presume they are worthy of a read through, so have a glance[…]…

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