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Where we are at on DADT


By Julia Rosen

Here is the deal. Senator Carl Levin and Rep. Patrick Murphy worked together and in coordination with the White House and Department of Defense to craft a compromise, which upon passage remove Congress as an obstacle to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. President Obama has always said that there needed to be an act of congress giving him permission to repeal the policy and this does that and not a whole lot more.

This piece of legislation gives no date for repeal. It states that it cannot happen until the Gates/Mullen are done with their review and are satisfied that it would not harm unit cohesion or readiness. Passage of this amendment does not put in place a policy of non-discrimination. For more background see this excellent piece in the Advocate.

All of that said, considering DADT repeal was nearly dead last week, it is impressive that this amendment is viable and due to a tremendous amount of grassroots pressure and the leadership by Levin and Murphy (check out this interview with Murphy).

How this gets passed through congress is a bit of sausage making. First, the Senate Armed Services Committee will vote on this language as an amendment to the defense authorization bill. It’s known as a “must-pass” bill, one that is unlikely to be vetoed and is tough to filibuster. We are thisclose on having the votes to pass it through the committee. Right now, either we need Sen. Bayh to vote for it (and he is believed to be a 98% certain yes vote) or Sen. Byrd not to show or to vote yes. Bryd has been ill for a while and does not always make it to vote.

That vote in committee is likely to happen tomorrow. Once the Senate votes to approve, the House will bring it up on the full floor with identical language. That is supposed to happen tomorrow as well, however, sometimes things take longer than expected when it comes to Congress. Shocking I know. That said, it’s a pretty safe bet that it all gets done by Friday, given that Congress can’t wait to get out of town for the recess.

That will leave a full vote on the Senate floor on the defense bill left to go. Senator McCain is now threatening to filibuster that bill, assuming the amendment gets attached to it in committee.

No matter what happens Thursday or Friday there will be a fight to make sure it passes the full Senate and that the Department of Defense and President Obama don’t drag it out indefinitely.

For more tidbits, see this good round up post from Adam Bink over at Open Left.



  • 1. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

    And this points up just how vital it is that all of us do just what Harvey Milk said we need to do–suit up, show up, stand up, and be counted! We all need to come out at one time. ONly then will we begin to see real safety, real progress, real equality come to pass.

  • 2. JonT  |  May 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

    According to Daily Kos, republicans do intend to filibuster the entire appropriations bill if the DADT language is attached to it.

    I do think it's rather amazing that it made it this far, considering it appeared dead a week ago. I am disappointed that at the very least, it does not halt discharges pending the pentagon's 'review'. I guess at this point, I am happy for whatever progress, however small, we can make.

    I guess we'll see how this shakes out, but I am hopeful that at least this small step can be made.

    I do not understand the republican fear of repealing DADT. Religious objections I can see, but are all republicans religiously opposed to repealing DADT? If you take religion out of the equation, is the opposition to repeal among republicans there?

    I know there are some conservatives on here, so I wonder if a filibuster by the republicans can succeed. I hope there are some republicans who can see the crap that DADT is, and support it's repeal.

  • 3. Jeremy  |  May 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I say let them filibuster. This so-called "compromise" is a farce. It is offensive as hell that our "allies" negotiated on our equality. If they had any morality at all, they would have told the Pentagon "equality OR ELSE". Instead, they folded. There is no guarantee that the Brass will EVER end DADT. They could come up with any BS reason to keep in place indefinitely.

    If this "compromise" fails, that will be good for our community. Right now, we have Perry v. Schwarzenegger, where we are trying to prove we should be a suspect class. Also, we have Log Cabin Republicans v. USA starting next month, which could also give us suspect class. What better way to prove that we are a politically powerless minority than watching a politically popular gay rights move (repealing DADT) go down in flames with a Dem President and a Dem Congress? How could anyone after that claim we have political power?

  • 4. Tim  |  May 28, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I agree Jeremy! We need to be classified as a a suspect class! Then things should start rolling.

  • 5. eDee  |  May 26, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I'm not even gay and I sick of this.

    Who gives a sh*t if the person who has your back may like your ass?
    Men and women work together in the military – men and women have been attacked to each other since the beginning of time, they don’t jump each other when the opposite sex walks in the room. What is the military so worried about?
    I’ve worked in theaters with gays and straights, we had to strip down naked for 2 second costume changes in front of either sex, it never changed anything.

    Is there a punishment for “telling”?

    Let me leave you with this thought, I’m straight, I’m attracted to men and I can tell you, they're ALL ugly naked! The military needs to get over itself.

  • 6. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    eDee, I love the way you expressed this! And it is so great to see yet another straight ally who knows that this BS called DADT needs to end. And if the ones in Washington DC and the Pentagon really cared about what the rank and file, in the theaters of operations troops say about getting rid of DADT, they would already have gotten rid of it. I live in a military town in the Bible belt, and the local MSM interivewed folks at one of the eateries that is very popular with our men and women from the base, and 98% of them said that DADT needs to go, that it is only harming our military and destroying unit cohesion. When our rank and file troops are saying it needs to go, it needs to go. End of discussion. And you remind me of my 85-year-old mother-in-law. She even wanted to go to Raleigh with us yesterday to give the legislature a piece of her mind, but she said she was too old and would not hold up well on the trip. And she would gladly tell the Pentagon where to stick DADT, and it would not be pretty. I hope you stick around, and I hope I get to meet you in person sometime. You are definitely good people!

  • 7. eDee  |  May 27, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Glad you liked it Richard, but I should probably confess that I used to be a homophobic hater!
    I wasn’t very good at it, I kept “questioning my faith” I was told I wasn’t very smart and I would need to stay close to my church so I wouldn’t get confused by the world. It really takes a lot of time and energy to stay angry.

    This DADT just has me baffled. It takes a certain type of person to live the military life style. It’s not like they’re going to switch off DADT and the barracks are going to be filled with stereotype pansies – guys are guys, there’s still going to be farting and belching.

  • 8. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 27, 2010 at 11:48 am

    You are so right, eDee. And I remember from my time in the service, and in another situation where I was in living quarters similar to baracks, that just like the lesbian who was forced to have sex with men in her unit to preserve her career, so that they would not out her, the ones who are abusing their god-given sex drive are the straights, not the LGBTQQI's. This is another reason why DADT must be repealed. ONly then will those who have been subjected to this be able to report their attackers and abusers without fear of losing their chosen careers. And I admire you for taking the time to learn the truth and find out that being a hater is not good for you or anyone else. That shows that you are definitely intelligent. And I still hope we get to meet face to face.

  • 9. eDee  |  May 27, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Quote Richard "the lesbian who was forced to have sex with men in her unit to preserve her career, so that they would not out her,"

    That is wrong on so many levels beyond the DADT. That is control. Our military should be above that.

    Quote Richard "soon to be Walter-Jernigan" Can I take it you're getting married soon? Congratulations!!

    I think I found you on FaceBook, I sent you a message. If you didn't get it – um I was wrong. lol
    Also, we need to fix your blog header – want some help?

  • 10. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 28, 2010 at 2:55 am

    eDee, thanks for the offer to help with the blog header. The title I have currently ws the first thing that came to mind, and it probably does need some work.
    Yes, we are getting married soon, once we get everything straightened out with my legal name change so that everything will be in place when we go to Connecticut.
    As for the FB request, you may need to resend it. Somehow my response got messed up and when I went to look, I did not have you on my list. I went to the name that was in the notice I got, and hope I got the right one, as there wee two with the same name and no profile pic yet. I hope we can connect.

  • 11. Straight Ally #3008  |  May 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Byrd is voting yes!

    With Sen. Collins and probably Sen. Snowe on board – plus, would Sen. Webb really be the only Dem to filibuster? – I'd be shocked if a filibuster were to be attempted. It's all bluster to appease the far right; Sen. McCain, for example, wants to win his primary over J.D. Hayworth.

    I have to say, I am really disappointed in Sen. Scott Brown. I thought that as a New England Republican – especially one from Massachusetts! – he would be more forward-thinking. If Joe Kennedy II runs for that seat, Brown is toast. /soapbox

  • 12. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I grew up in West Virginia, and this is a very pleasant surprise from Senator Robert Carlyle Byrd. Granted, he has asked for a 60-day delay in the implementation of DADT's repeal after the certification of the review, but at least he has come to vote in favor of te repeal.

  • 13. Kathleen  |  May 27, 2010 at 6:22 am

    This is great news about Byrd! This guy keeps surprising me. What's that about old dogs and new tricks? He seems to suggest otherwise.

  • 14. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 27, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Yes, and this also proves what fiona said on an earlier comment thread about people gaining in their acceptance of what is truly right as they get older.

  • 15. Ronnie  |  May 27, 2010 at 12:20 am

    On Nov.5th 1917, Alice Paul, National Chairman of the Women's Party who was arrested for picketing the White House to gain Women's Rights began a Hunger Strike & soon other Women's Suffragists followed..History is repeating itself……

    Posted on May 27, 2010
    "Choi, Pietrangelo Plan Hunger Strike" By Julie Bolcer

    ”In response to the United States Senate and the House of Representatives voting on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, forces are mobilizing for non-violent direct action and civil disobedience,” he said. “Veterans are ready to spend Memorial Weekend in prison. Fasting will also commence. The simple demands are (1) End DADT firings. (2) Enact non-discrimination. (3) End the insulting, wasteful study.”










  • 16. Hank  |  May 27, 2010 at 1:02 am

    DADT was the compromise – time to end compromises. And, aren't there already many studies? How many studies do they need?

    Funny that the repubs and conservatives all use the same arguements for the military and for marriage and rights they used for womens rights, black rights and inter-racial marriage – the exact same arguements. It is like a broken record or maybe it's the same record and re-fab slogans and posters.

    So much of the issue seems to stem from the so called separation of church and state. Too many xtains are using their religion for power and control – they have lost sight of what religion is. Our nation is built on so many differing religions and races – to use one religion of intolerance and hate makes us not much different than the middle east – can we not see what is happening there.

    Our constitution gives us all rights – but your rights can't infringe on my rights. You have the right to your religion and I have the right of mine. Yet we have had to enact even more amendents to spell it out specifically so that interpretations can't change the meaning. It has been my experience that so many people are confused between what is a right and what is a privilege.

  • 17. Bob  |  May 27, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Well put Hank, we can't emphasize this point enough, "too many xtains are using their religion for power and control-they have lost sight of what religiion is."

    separation of church and state is important

  • 18. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 27, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Yes, you are so right, Bob. And when my husband and I went to Raleigh for the Day of Action, part of how we were able to change one legislator's mind was by pointing out that his freedom of religios expression to not have same sex marriages in his church did not allow him to present an amendment that would infringe upon the right of those churches and synagogues which do recognize same sex marriages and are willing to perofrm them. We also pointed out that what we are asking for is not "Special" rights, but merely the same rights and responsibilities that opposite sex married couples and families have. And yes, we were wearing our yarmulkes and tzitzis as usual. And it is kind of hard to tell a rabbi that he or she is wrong about separation of church and state, and that he or she does not have the right to express his or her religious beliefs and to practice his or her religion the way he or she sees fit. It is when wew continue to point these things out that we will not only effect the necessary changes within the legal system, but also change hearts and minds one at a time or one group at a time.

  • 19. B&E  |  May 27, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Seems like McCain may have some deep seated issues with himself after his threat to filabuster the defense bill. I would almost bet he has some dirty little secrets like George Alan Rekers. It is now time to expose the closeted haters for what they really are.

  • 20. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 27, 2010 at 4:38 am

    I think he may also still be upset after his little campaign ploy of trying to use his POW status got derailed by those who were at the same camp he was revealed that after four days he began singing like a canary. But you would think that with his wife and daughter both being on our side, he would finally see the light.

  • 21. Kathleen  |  May 27, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I think this is just pure politics. He's trying to keep his Senate seat in a political environment that's becoming more and more far right. I seriously question whether he really believes the stuff that he's spewing.

    Not that it excuses him. In fact, I feel even less respect for him if he's willing to compromise his own beliefs for the sake of political expedience.

  • 22. Tigger  |  May 27, 2010 at 6:35 am

    His daughter should run for his seat. She's so much easier to listen to and so much more evolved.

  • 23. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 27, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Actually, I would like to see Meghan McCain run for POTUS.

  • 24. Bill  |  May 27, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Off topic, but SO important:

    The American evangelicals who have whipped Uganda into an anti-gay frenzy have moved their sights to Kenya.

    This is important. Spread the word to everyone you know!

    Paul Cameron is a part of THIS one, too. Here is their web site. You must see it to believe it.

    If have so much fear and pain in my heart for our brothers and sisters in Africa.

  • 25. Billy  |  May 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Wow… that is insane. Why isn't Paul Cameron listed as an international terrorist yet? Oh that's right… he hates glbt, which is a-ok in America. My bad.

  • 26. Tigger  |  May 28, 2010 at 3:41 am

    The quote that continues to slay me daily is when some idiot issues a "no" vote or stance on repeal of DADT… because of their deep concern for the troops in uniform… as if the current military is sterile and free of "the gay" and they want to make sure all the straight/clean/real soldiers are cool with things before they contaminate it with vermin like us.

    I swear I want to punch some of them in the face!

  • 27. Tigger  |  May 28, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Its like someone saying… "I want to do a study to see how best blacks can be allowed to eat at the Woolworth's counter without offending the sensitive whites who have to sit right next to them..and witness them eating…" so infuriating… This full moon is getting to me.

  • 28. eDee  |  May 28, 2010 at 4:18 am

    I love your example!

  • 29. Bob  |  May 28, 2010 at 9:09 am

    has everyone recieved and signed Obama's grassroots e-mail to stand behind him in ending DADT.?

  • 30. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I even posted it to my FB page after filling out the form twice–once for myself, once for my husband.

  • 31. Richard A. Walter (s  |  May 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Just saw this on the AOL newspage:

    The House of Representatives has passed the DAB with the DADT Repeal Amendment intact.

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