Servicemembers United weighs in too

I’m still not sure what to make of any of this, as no one has actually explained WHAT the compromise is that they’re all praising. SU gets the closest in this statement, but even they don’t really explain what exactly will happen this year, and what EXACTLY will happen next year. Even what Joe and I are hearing privately is confusing.

Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, commended the announcement today that the administration will now support an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law this year. The proposed amendment would include a delayed implementation provision that would not allow repeal to take effect until the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group completed its nine-month implementation management study and until the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified that the military is ready to implement repeal smoothly.

“This announcement from the White House today is long awaited, much needed, and immensely helpful as we enter a critical phase of the battle to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “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, and we are glad to see the community and now the administration and defense leadership finally rally around this option.”

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, passed in 1993 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, has resulted in the abrupt firing of more than 14,000 men and women because of their sexual orientation, and has led tens of thousands more to voluntarily terminate their careers because of the burden of serving under this outdated law. There are an estimated 66,000 gays, lesbians, and bisexuals currently serving in the U.S. military and an estimated 1 million gay, lesbian, and bisexual veterans of the U.S. armed forces.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • gayinmilitary

    Dan Choi is not a sell-out. But he is also a bit naive about the inner workings of the Pentagon as a very junior officer in the Army Reserve. As a 1LT, Dan has never been through a career-defining selection board or promotion board, he’s never seen the inner workings of the Pentagon, never had significant interactions with the military-industrial complex. Like most Americans unaware of these things, DADT just means discharges to Dan Choi. For those of us who have been around a while, it’s easy to realize that there are a whole lot worse fates than discharge if the military establishment wants to mark you for discrimination. The whole process for getting orders to a new assignment is full of opportunities to discriminate as are the promotion and selection boards I mentioned previously.

    We have no choice but to seize this opportunity and work as hard as we can to make the best of it. I’m not going to be happy until we have a complete non-discrimination policy and full equality for our gay and lesbian servicemembers.

  • Alexander2

    Lt. Daniel Choi, who is being discharged from the Army for being gay and has become an activist fighting for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, tells NEWSWEEK that the news leaking out of today’s meetings “just shows that the pressure we and all activists have putting on the administration cannot be ignored.” Choi says that moving forward with the repeal, even if all the details are not immediately in place, “is the same thing that happened with the integration of blacks and women. You start with a moral decision.” “This is a good thing,” says Choi. If it happens. “I’m not going to be happy until people stop getting fired.” http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archiv
    ___________________________________________________

    Is he a sell-out too?

  • FunMe

    What does Dan Choi think of this? What about GetEqual?My instincts tell me this is NOT a good thing. It simply a way for Obama to ensure we still support the Democrats this November 2010. Does he think we are stupid?Well we are not, and we should not fall for another one of these stupid Obama pet tricks.That study will be filled with so much homophobic bs, that it will make the DOJ defense statements seem like a love letter.enough.REPEAL DADT fully this year or else!DON’T ASK DON’T GIVE!

  • Brian

    If they do come through for us, I would reverse course and vigorously support the Democrats in November.

  • Thomas J. Coleman
  • Jim Olson

    I hope they use lube this time. I’m tired of getting fucked dry.

  • mml34

    so true.

  • mml34

    if i had any faith left in obama and his administration, i’d be willing to give this “non-repeal-repeal-plan” the benefit of the doubt.

    but, based on their track record of “talking” big promises and “walking” small tokens, i can’t see this as anything but an effort to make our allies think DADT has been repealed when either 1) it hasn’t; or 2) it’s been repealed and replaced with something worse (i.e. gays can’t serve at all, or are discriminated against, or thrown in the brig for being gay). let’s take a second and recap what obama said and what he’s done (and what our progressive allies have thought of it) so far:

    1. Obama: “DOMA is unconstitutional.” justice dept supports DOMA using language that would make john ashcroft blush/proud. OPM refuses to comply with federal court order to provide equal access to health insurance. progressive allies: “well, obama has to follow the law, and DOMA is still the law.”

    2. obama issues a press statement claiming that he will “extend” benefits to the same-sex partners of a small sliver of federal employees (in reality, these employees and their partners have had these benefits since the early ’90s). progressive allies: “whoopeee! isn’t obama great? now, leave him alone so he can focus on healthcare.”

    3. obama writes a memo directing HHS to draw up some regulations to allow hospital visitation for gays. a cursory glance at the fine print of his directive reveals that the as-of-yet drafted regulation “…is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, OR ANY OTHER PERSON.” progressive allies: “isn’t obama wonderful!? i mean, you gays can visit your dying partners in the hospital, no questions asked!!! obama said so!!! repealing DOMA can wait! now, shut up and let him focus on bank reform!”

    4. Obama: “DADT does not contribute to our national security, and it’s wrong – i will work with congress to repeal it…or change it, or make it more humane.” or, maybe like, repeal it assuming it’s ok with everyone, and is then certified by those that have been dragging their feet all along. but there will be a moratorium on enacting the repeal (after it’s certified) until some later date. progressive allies: “woo hoo! obama has repealed DADT! now, queers, stop all your hollerin’ – it’s not all about you!”

    i have this sinking feeling (heaven only knows why) that the DADT cure could end up being worse than the disease.

  • gayinmilitary

    I wonder what happens when the Gates Comprehensive Review Working Group releases its findings that:

    1) They will need several billion dollars and several years to build separate barracks facilities for gay and lesbian servicemembers.
    2) They will need several billion dollars to increase the recruiting budget in anticipation of all the straight people who will be leaving the service because of the gays.
    3) They will need Congress to repeal DOMA in order to provide any acknowledgment of gay or lesbian partners as part of the military familiy.
    4) They will need billions of dollars to provide counseling to military families who are “harmed” by having to be around gay and lesbian servicemembers.

    I expect all of those findings and more from the fraudulent Gates study group. After all, they’re being advised by Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council every step of the way.

  • sonofloud

    yes….how exactly can they claim they are repealing it when there is no starting date?

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