The President is meeting today with new Commandant of the Marine Corps. GetEQUAL has a message for the President in advance of that meeting. (As background, Obama is the Commander-in-Chief. The Marine Corps Commandant serves under Obama.) Via Press Release — and I’m posting the full release because it’s chock full of info and good quotes:
According to the official White House schedule for the President, today the Commander in Chief will be holding an Oval Office meeting with General James Amos, who is being reported by all major news outlets as the nominee selected by Defense Secretary Gates to replace General James Conway as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps. Prior to today’s 4:30 pm (ET) “closed press” meeting, GetEQUAL — a direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization — released a statement urging President Obama to address “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during the meeting. In addition, the statement also stresses that if President Obama is going to live up to his promise to “build consensus” with military officials, he needs to communicate General Amos’ exact position on the immediate and full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the LGBT community following today’s meeting.
“Recent press reports have painted an incomplete and unclear picture of where General Amos stands on the full and immediate repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell,’” said Robin McGehee, co-founder of GetEQUAL. “Due to this mixed public record, it is imperative that President Obama address the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ with General Amos in today’s Oval Office meeting. General James Conway, the current Marine Corps Commandant, has been one of the most vocal opponents of repeal and before the LGBT community can express any confidence in, or support of, General Amos’ nomination, the issues around repeal need to be directly addressed.”
The Washington Post’s Sunday edition carried a story by Greg Jaffee, titled “‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law’s expected repeal creates strange state of limbo” in which it reported that, “Even President Obama, set to name a new Marine Corps commandant in the coming weeks, is likely to face significant pressure to select someone who is not too outspoken in his opposition to repealing the law. All of the candidates being considered for the job have expressed reservations about repeal during wartime, according to senior U.S. officials familiar with the process.” On Tuesday, the online LGBT news site, LezGetReal.com, wrote saying sources had informed the site that, “General Amos’ position on the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ mirrors that of Admiral Michael Mullen, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
McGehee concluded, “Following today’s meeting, we will be looking toward the White House for open and honest communication with the LGBT community regarding what the General told President Obama his beliefs were on the issue of repeal. We are at too critical of a moment for us to accept a wink and a nod, telling us ‘not to worry,’ as replacement for a transparent, public record of General Amos’ stance.”