Chairman of Joint Chiefs endorses DADT deal; lead gay groups seem on board

I would quibble with one thing in this Stars and Stripes article. It’s a point that many members of the mainstream media are getting wrong about today’s compromise. The deal is not “delayed implementation” of DADT repeal. The deal is to shift the power for repeal over to the executive branch, should they wish to exercise it. DADT will remain the law of the land, and there’s no guarantee that repeal will happen, ever. That’s different than “repeal followed by a delay in implementation.”

Now, that is not to suggest that the compromise is “nothing.” Without the compromise, I think DADT repeal is dead – dead this year, dead next year, and probably dead for years to come because we’re going to lose a serious number of seats in the Congress in the fall election (and possibly even lose the House). This option, at least, preserves a chance at repeal next year. Without it, there is no chance.

I’m still working through how I feel overall about this proposal, but I wanted to make those two points clear now. But it’s not insignificant that the two groups that are made up of military members, the groups that are directly affected by the gay ban – SLDN and Servicemembers United – appear to be on board.

From Stars and Stripes:

Capt. John Kirby, spokesman for Joint Chiefs chair Adm. Mike Mullen, said that the chairman supports the agreement brokered Monday.

“We have been making the case to White House staff for more than a year now that delayed implementation is realistic, politically viable, and the only way to get the defense community on board with repeal,” Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, said in a statement late Monday. “We are glad to see the community and now the administration and defense leadership finally rally around this option.”

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, called the amendment a “dramatic breakthrough in dismantling ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”

Aaron Belkin, director of the gay rights advocacy and research Palm Center, praised President Barack Obama’s guidance throughout the negotiations. That’s a stark change from the last few months, when gay rights groups have publicly sniped at the White House for a lack of action on a promised repeal.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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