The Senate has passed out of committee and shoved back the ridiculous non-germane amendments Duncan Hunter and friends tried to use to delay the repeal of DADT by refusing to include them in their markup. Good work, Senate!
On Thursday, June 16, the Senate Armed Services Committee complete its work on the National Defense Authorization Act, announcing on Friday morning that it had been unanimously approved by the committee.
None of the three amendments opposed by LGBT advocates that were adopted by the House in its version of the bill earlier this year are listed in a comprehensive summary of the SASC bill that that committee issued (pdf) this morning. Among the provisions in the bill, however, according to the committee’s summary, is one that “repeals Article 125 of the UCMJ, relating to the offense of sodomy.”
According to Servicemembers United, which issued a news release about the bill this morning, the bill “contains none of the reactionary and distracting amendments related to the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that were inserted into the House version of the bill, and also would repeal the outdated and widely ignored prohibition on sodomy between consenting adults.”
As far as those amendments are concerned can anyone say, “Desperate Hail Mary Pass!” ? Duncan “Not the YMCA” Hunter has already garnered enough attention on this issue. It is getting to the point where our enemies are looking really pathetic and sad.
A group of 23 Republican lawmakers are asking President Barack Obama to halt any repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law while Congress renews debate on the future of the law.
The letter comes in response to a recent suggestion by Defense Secretary Robert Gates that he may give the final OK for repeal of the controversial law barring openly gay troops in his final days in office. The lawmakers, led by California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, say that ending the repeal now would be “premature,” considering a group of amendments on the issue pending before Congress.
Neither provision is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. But in their letter, the House lawmakers argue that moving ahead with a “dramatic policy change” like the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal would be unwise. (Read the full letter here.)
What would be unwise would be to take these backwards Republican lying concern trolls seriously. What Republicans truly fear is they know when “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is certified our military will have already adjusted to it like all the other countries whose military forces have integrated openly gay troops. They are terrified they are on the wrong side of this issue and history will judge them harshly, so they are desperate to delay the positive change from occurring.
In fact, given the proper respect our troops deserve for their outstanding professionalism, our troops will integrate openly gay service just fine. It says a lot about how the Republicans are willing to question our military’s determination and professionalism in favor of short sighted political maneuvering. They should be ashamed of themselves for claiming the vast majority of our troops aren’t capable of treating their fellow gay troops with dignity and respect. Then again, the Republicans have a pattern of protecting the perpetrators of discrimination rather than those gay American troops who are fighting in two wars while putting up with ridiculous bigotry and intolerance by having to remain in the closet about something so integral to their lives.
As far as the issue with Airman Pissani is concerned, I understand where he is coming from but when I was in boot camp I remember a racist problem that was RAPIDLY AND EFFECTIVELY dealt with. If the military can accomplish the defusing of racist incidents and, by example, prevent them from happening in the future then the same can be done for openly gay and lesbian troops. It is a matter of professionalism and setting the proper command climate. Our military is up for the challenge of ensuring everyone in the ranks can be treated with fairness, equality and professionalism. Sure, there will be problems, just like problems remain with latent racism and sexism but does that mean we should hesitate marching forwards with equality? The answer is obvious.