Sec. Gates on DADT: ‘I do not recommend a change in the law before we have completed our study.’

Today, I watched Secretary Robert Gates hold a press briefing to announce a new “more humane” policy for discharging servicemembers under DADT. More on that development at AMERICAblog Gay. But, the big news was, unfortunately, that Gates doesn’t want a legislative change to the law until the Pentagon’s study is complete. That study won’t be finished until the end of this year or early next year.

Our best chance to repeal DADT is this year. In the State of the Union, the President promised to do it this year:

This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.

We expect and need it to happen this year. But, Gates just undermined those efforts with the statement:

I do not recommend a change in the law before we have completed our study.

Gates did acknowledge that the study is about “how” to repeal the law, not “whether” to repeal it. The law should be repealed this year with a delayed implementation until the study is completed. That idea, first proposed by Servicemembers United (“Set End-date / Delayed Implementation”), would serve the needs of all the parties.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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