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Republican attempts to damage repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at tomorrow’s House Armed Services Committee markup

Don't Ask Don't Tell

By Adam Bink

Back in January, Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent an e-mail to Courage Campaign members calling out Rep. Duncan Hunter’s attempts to gut repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Hunter wanted to expand the requirements for certification to include all the military service chiefs. Here’s what she wrote:

Last month, I proudly cast my vote to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which I have opposed since it was first introduced in 1993. President Obama signed that bill into law, and it’s now on the path to implementation.

So imagine my disappointment when I learned California Congressman Duncan Hunter is introducing legislation that would paralyze repeal efforts.

Rep. Hunter knows his legislation has no chance of success. Should it pass the House, it will never be approved by the Senate or signed by the President.

Worse, this effort is a distraction from the real work at hand. California is faced with an unemployment rate of 12.4%, a crushing budget shortfall, alarming health insurance rate hikes, crumbling infrastructure and a broken immigration system. Now is not the time for distractions that have no chance of becoming law.

Will you join me and the Courage Campaign in asking your member of Congress to reject this legislation, and instead focus on real priorities for Californians and the rest of America?

I was proud to co-sponsor the bill that repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” last month. As President Obama said upon signing repeal, “This is done.”

He’s right. This issue is settled. It’s time to move on to address what California needs, not look backwards to derail equality.

We need to get our economy moving here in California. As your Senator, I’ve always made that my top priority. Immigration reform, building smart infrastructure like high-speed rail that creates good-paying jobs, and helping small businesses succeed are also at the top of my list.

I think those are priorities that we can all agree upon.

Tomorrow, the House Armed Services Committee will be considering amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, including Hunter’s amendment, and the votes may be tight. Expanded certification would not only delay and imperil repeal, but it’s unnecessary. On December 2, 2010, the Secretary of Defense testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that “I would not sign any certification until I was satisfied with the advice of the service chiefs that we had, in fact, mitigated, if not eliminated, to the extent possible, risks to combat readiness, to unit cohesion and effectiveness.”  In addition, all of the service chiefs have testified before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees that expanded certification is not necessary and that they are very comfortable with their ability to provide military advice to Secretary Gates and have it heard.

So Hunter’s amendment is the waste of time that Sen. Feinstein says it is, and a naked effort to gut repeal and score points. It will never become law. The military believes it’s unnecessary. The commander-in-chief believes it’s unnecessary. And so do we.

Rep. Akin will be offering an amendment to restrict the use of military facilities and chaplains in states that permit same-sex marriages to perform those marriages in response to the recent news. This amendment would essentially deny equal access by gay and lesbian servicemembers. The military already opens up facilities for a variety of religious ceremonies including baptisms, weddings and rituals. If DOMA (Akin’s excuse) wasn’t law, Akin would offer this kind of amendment anyway.

Reps. Palazzo and Hartzler are also expected to offer anti-equality amendments that are either unnecessary like Hunter’s or straight anti-gay.

The following members are either new to the House and swing votes, or voted in favor of repeal last year. Please give them a call and tell them to oppose ALL unnecessary Republican amendments that would damage the DADT repeal process.

– Rep. Chris Gibson (NY-20): (202) 225-5614

– Rep. Joe Heck (NV-3): (202) 225-3252

– Rep. Todd Platts (PA-19): (202) 225-5836

– Rep. Jon Runyan (NJ-3): (202) 225-4765

– Rep. Bobby Schilling (IL-17): (202) 225-5905


  • 1. rick jacobs  |  May 10, 2011 at 5:42 am

    It's sort of hard to get worked up over this, but it's a good idea nevertheless. It's hard because the Republicans are just nuts on this. Baby Duncan Hunter simply wants attention for his base. Let's give him some attention to show how out of touch he is.

    So Adam's right, as usual. Make a few calls if you can an let us know how it goes.

  • 2. Kathleen  |  May 10, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Final Settlement to Landmark Lawsuit: Major Witt to Retire with Full Benefits

  • 3. Alan E.  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:04 am

    I have to agree with Ann S. (and maybe others), but it would be nice to get email notifications of new posts. I do like that you only have to click once from the email to subscribe. I happened to refresh my listing of gay-themed blogs (love the organization in Google reader!) to see this post. Otherwise, it could have been a lot longer.

  • 4. Sheryl Carver  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:11 am

    @ 2. Kathleen:

    Thanks so much for this, Kathleen. I was in the Air Force, & though I got out many, many years ago & never met her, I have very strong feelings about Major Witt's case. It's good that she finally has what is probably the best outcome possible in today's political environment. And it would have been even better if she hadn't had to go through years of garbage to get it.

    I know she's not the only person affected by & fighting DADT, but at least there is one reasonably good outcome.

  • 5. Ann S.  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:20 am

    @Alan E., I check my email regularly all day long — my RSS feed, not so much. Even so, unless I click on P8TT in the RSS feed, it doesn't refresh itself, so it might be much longer before I notice a new post. I liked the email notifications, and the "reply" feature of the old site.

  • 6. Kathleen  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Over 100 Michigan Law Students Walk Out Of Own Graduation To Protest Anti-Gay Speaker Rob Portman

  • 7. Ann S.  |  May 10, 2011 at 6:40 am

    @Kathleen, good for them!

  • 8. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  May 10, 2011 at 7:39 am

    @ #6 Kathleen

    Loved reading all the comments. :-)

  • 9. fiona64  |  May 10, 2011 at 7:49 am

    They'll really be laying a brick soon:

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell': Navy OKs Bases, Chaplains for Same-Sex Marriages After Repeal

  • 10. jpmassar  |  May 10, 2011 at 7:55 am


    There's apparently a new filing in the LCR DADT case; a motion to vacate the stay.

    Docket Text:

    Filed (ECF) Appellee Log Cabin Republicans in 10-56634, Appellant Log Cabin Republicans in 10-56813 Motion to lift stay. Date of service: 05/10/2011. [7746464] [10-56634, 10-56813] (EM)

    The following document(s) are associated with this transaction:

    Document Description: Main Document

    Original Filename: Motion to vacate stay.pdf

  • 11. Sagesse  |  May 10, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I'd like to see some serious intelligence about how realistic the threat is.

    Will the House amendments pass? – probably. Will they get through the Senate? – probably not. How long will it take until the Senate votes? How much of this becomes moot if certification occurs by Jun 30. Do they have to pass this within the 60 day window or it becomes moot?

  • 12. Kathleen  |  May 10, 2011 at 8:03 am

    @jpmassar. Here's the upload at Scribd, reported on some post or another here; I have no idea which one.

  • 13. peterplumber  |  May 10, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Does this mean that one of the named defendants in the Prop 8 case is opting out of the motion to vacate?

    Statement re [768] MOTION to Vacate Judgment – Statement of No Position by Dean C. Logan. (Whitehurst, Judy) (Filed on 5/10/2011)

  • 14. Kathleen  |  May 10, 2011 at 8:30 am

    @peterplumber, it just means that L.A. County Registrar's response to the motion to vacate is "no position" – rather than supporting or opposing the motion.

  • 15. LCH  |  May 10, 2011 at 8:34 am


  • 16. Kathleen  |  May 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Order in the Golinski case (DOMA in CA)

    "Upon consideration of Defendants’ Motion to Enlarge Time to Respond to Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint, and any opposition thereto, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendants’ motion and orders that the time to respond to Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint be enlarged through and including June 3, 2011"

    [Defendants had asked for July 18; Plaintiffs objected to any extension of time]

    The order also had this curious addition tacked on to the proposed order as submitted. I'm not sure exactly what the Court is referring to…

    "Defendants and/or Proposed Intervenors shall not continue to engage in self-help and shall instead follow this Court's governing rules unless and until specific permission to deviate from those rules is granted."

  • 17. peterplumber  |  May 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Is Golinski the one where they sort of filed the wrong complaint and the judge gave them permission to re-file?

  • 18. jpmassar  |  May 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

    @peterplumber 17


  • 19. Kathleen  |  May 10, 2011 at 9:10 am

    @peterplumber. Yes, Golinski is the one where plaintiff was given an opportunity to amend the complaint. But I wouldn't characterize it as having filed the "wrong complaint" initially. It's just that plaintiff never intended to challenge DOMA. It's the government defendants that decided to drag DOMA into it by using it as a defense for their actions. So, because plaintiff hadn't challenged DOMA initially, she had to amend the complaint to do so.

  • 20. jpmassar  |  May 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    @Kathleen 12:


  • 21. Leo  |  May 10, 2011 at 10:27 am

    @Kathleen 16:

    My guess is the court is referring to this (from Golinski's opposition):

    <cite>Also on the day of the Court’s deadline, evidently viewing their entitlement to extra time a foregone conclusion, Defendants filed the instant motion requesting that the Court give BLAG an additional two and one-half months in which to move to dismiss. That motion directly violated this Court’s standing order requiring that motions for additional time be filed “in advance of the filing deadline, rather than on the day a brief or other matter is due.”</cite>

  • 22. Kathleen  |  May 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

    @Leo 22, Thanks for responding. And you're correct; that's exactly what the Court was referencing.

  • 23. Sagesse  |  May 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Boning up on the 4 anti-gay measures expected to be introduced in Congress on Wednesday

  • 24. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  May 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

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  • 25. Sagesse  |  May 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    From Ed O'Keefe at the Washington Post

    Navy revokes guidance on same-sex marriages

    Ironically, this sort of issue may be what it takes to get DOMA repealed.

  • 26. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  May 11, 2011 at 8:01 am

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  • 27. this n that | What's&hellip  |  May 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    […] (transcript available): Deficit Solution: Get Americans Back To Work. As for the feet stomping: Republican attempts to damage repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at tomorrow’s House Armed …, which Sam Seder absolutely skewers (decent auto captioning, esp if you can read lips) here: Tea […]

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