Don’t Ask Don’t Tell needs to be repealed in 2010
Since his inauguration, there has been a concerted White House effort to back-burner pressing Congress to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Actually, the President talked a great game about doing it in speeches, including the State of the Union, and at dinners to our community leaders, suggesting an urgency to allow gays and lesbians to no longer remain closeted and serve in the military. This was underscored by the fact that the ranks of qualified, experienced service members are being stretched thinner with each day due to our commitments at home and abroad.
The largest LBGT organization in the country, the Human Rights Campaign — with nearly a million members, according to president and executive director Joe Solmonese — is seen by the White House, Congress, and the mainstream media as the community’s official representative inside the Beltway. HRC had the ear of the White House — attending strategy meetings on LGBT policy, and appeared numerous times at public social and political events, such as the signing of the hate crimes bill.
While many in the LGBT community have criticized HRC on many occasions (including yours truly), the motivation, at least on my part, I cannot speak for others, is that its position and responsibility is so critical now that we have an administration that has made promises –and dodged action.
Tax-paying LGBTs have pulled out their wallets for the Human Rights Campaign for years, waiting for the day their investment would result in action once a gay-friendly administration and Congress were finally in place. Now is the time time to act. We need the full force of HRC flexing its political muscle to call for the President to publicly press for repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
If we have “White House officials” floating that it could take years before repeal, then we know there is not leadership going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But we do know that repeal of DADT could be included in the Defense Budget he sends to Congress soon if pressed to do so.
What can you do?
This is a call for you to tell HRC that it’s time to use its role and reach in an assertive, public manner as other organizations — such as the AFL-CIO — have had to do to move its issues onto the priority list of this White House.
HRC Front Desk: (202) 628-4160
TTY: (202) 216-1572
Toll-Free: (800) 777-4723
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