Status of DADT

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Status of DADT

Postby Bramasole_iowa » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:07 pm

Get ready fornew battle over 'gays' in military
Issue returns as congresswoman prepares bill that removes 'Don't Ask'
Posted: February 02, 2009
10:21 pm Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
NEW YORK
– The issue of gays in the military is about to resurface in Congress in the early days of the Obama administration, with the possibility it could dog the new president much as it derailed President Bill Clinton's agenda as he took office early in 1993, WND has learned.

The House Armed Services Committee told WND that Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif., is preparing to submit legislation to the panel that would reverse the 15-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Clinton administration enacted the "Don't Ask" policy to allow homosexuals to serve if they do not reveal their orientation.

A top Democratic aide confirmed to WND that Tauscher plans to introduce the legislation to the House in the next several weeks.


Posted: Monday, 02 February 2009 11:51AM

Obama Disappoints Gay Rights Advocates

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KCBS) - President Obama has decided to go slowly on repealing the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy on gays in the military.

The Obama administration has met quietly with gay rights groups, telling them that the president wants to wait before he tries to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly.

Vietnam veteran Aubrey Sarvis is among those who got the heads up from the White House. "I just don't think it's necessary and I think it would reflect delay."

Sarvis runs the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which represents gays who get discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Sarvis says more than 12,000 gays have been kicked out of the service, often after years of training. "It's a tremendous loss of manpower and dollars for U.S. taxpayers."

President Obama wants to avoid repeating the mistake made by President Clinton, who tried, and failed, to change the law. Instead, he's asking for a national secrity study, to gain more Congressional support. "A study is just a time-honored way in Washington, of taking something down the road a year or two."


Looks like a real change/progressive Democrat challenging Obama's continuation of Democrat lipservice for support.
Last edited by Bramasole_iowa on Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Screamer » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:25 pm

It's as I suspected - the change will take too long for my career.
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Postby olywaguy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:13 am

I think the President's first priority should be the economy at this moment. We need to get that started right away. People are losing their jobs, businesses are going bankrupt. He needs to concentrate on that right now.

DADT can wait. By giving it some time, he can work the Congress to get rid of the law. He's only been in office for a little over 15 days, guys!!

Give it time, guys!! He will get to it in good time.
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Too little, too late

Postby jabpcola » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:37 pm

I spent 21 years in the military, advanced to E9 then through the Warrant ranks to CWO4. I retired before before DADT. For 21 years I walked on eggshells. If DADT had been the policy, I would have stayed for 30.

I am a huge supporter of gays being able to serve openly, period. I say the sooner the better, but it is still too late for me. :(
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Postby DerWanderer » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:34 am

The problem is that DADT is something Obama can actually get rid of himself.

The president does not have the ability to fix the economy singlehandedly. In fact, if the current state of affairs in congress is any indication, they're fighting him every step of the way.

The underlying issues at this point are probably not even fixable by congress and the president working in concert, unless they choose to take far more drastic action than a simple stimulus package.

The DADT fix is an executive order.
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Postby olywaguy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:36 am

DADT was a law passed by Congress and requires another law from Congress to repeal it.

If the President used the executive order, Congress would call him a dictator and a future president could easily nullify it just like President Obama did on his first day when he repealed several Bush executive orders.

In order for it to be permanent, it requires an act of Congress.

Also, there is more than just this stimulus bill. There are other bills on the works that get things started as well. But, this is the first one that will begin the process going.

The Republicans are just being spoiled brats because of the electoral loss and they aren't willing to work with the President in order to get this done right away. This could easily backfire on the Republicans. If the stimulus bills work, the Democrats will be the heroes and the Republicans will be seen as reactionary, stubborn, and out of touch.
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Postby chidiver » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:51 pm

olywaguy wrote: If the stimulus bills work, the Democrats will be the heroes and the Republicans will be seen as reactionary, stubborn, and out of touch.


..and if it fails?
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:25 pm

March 12, 2009
11 Discharged Under DADT in January
By Michelle Garcia

The Army discharged at least 11 soldiers in January for violating the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Virginia Representative Jim Moran, who has requested monthly figures on such firings by the Pentagon until the ban on gay service members is repealed, announced the number on Thursday.

This round of soldiers were the last to be discharged during the watch of the Bush Administration. The discharged soldiers included one human intelligence collector, one military police officer, four infantry personnel, a health care specialist, motor transport operator and water treatment specialist.

"At a time when our military’s readiness is strained to the breaking point from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the armed forces continue to discharge vital service members under the outdated, outmoded 'don't ask, don't tell' policy,” Moran said in a statement.

This week, both the Philippines and Argentina announced they were lifting the ban on gay and lesbian service members in their militaries.

"Our allies have overcome this issue, facing no adverse consequences from lifting bans focused on soldiers’ sexual orientation. Polls show the American people overwhelmingly support repealing this policy. Yet, how many more good soldiers are we willing to lose due to a bad policy that makes us less safe and secure? I’m going to keep releasing this information each month until DADT is repealed."

About 10,000 service members have been discharged for being openly gay or outed since the ban started in 1993, according to a 2005 Government Accountability Office study.

President Barack Obama has been reportedly consulting with military officials and defense department Secretary Robert Gates on how to properly lift the ban. Plans have yet to be officially announced as to how the ban would be lifted.
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Postby michaelk69 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:07 am

wow, interesting. Thanks Bramasole. I didn't realize that people were still being discharged every month, wow, that's amazing (in a bad way)
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Postby olywaguy » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:01 pm

2005 Report mentioned in the article.

Another GAO report contrasting results from the 2005 report (above) and the results of a Blue Ribbon Commission.
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:32 am

Gates: No change soon on `don't ask, don't tell'
AP
1 hr 22 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Don't expect any change soon to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy about gays in the military.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says both he and President Barack Obama have "a lot on our plates right now." As Gates puts it, "let's push that one down the road a little bit."

The White House has said Obama has begun consulting with Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how to lift the ban. Gates says that dialogue has not really progressed very far at this point in the administration.

The Pentagon policy was put in place after President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993.

The policy refers to the military practice of not asking recruits their sexual orientation. In turn, service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.

Gates appeared on "Fox News Sunday."
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:24 pm

Iraq Veteran To Take Lead On Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal
By Brian Beutler - April 8, 2009, 2:35PM


Roll Call is reporting that Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) will take the lead in advancing legislation to overturn the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy when it's current sponsor, Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), is confirmed by the Senate and moves over to the State Department to be President Obama's Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

There's major symbolic significance to that move.

Murphy is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and, more importantly, a Bronze Star winner and the first Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress.

Tauscher's confirmation may not come for some time, though, and Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have placed a DADT repeal on the back burner. On March 29, Gates sought to lower the expectations of many on the left who hoped a repeal would be coming in short order. "I think the president and I feel like we've got a lot on our plates right now," Gates said. "Let's push that one down the road a little bit."

Less than two weeks later he proposed the most sweeping overhaul of defense spending in a generation.

Gates will be up on the HIll soon after Congress returns from recess to defend his budget, and one can imagine the issue arising at the hearing. Kevin Nix, communications director for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network says, "the president can and should ax Don't Ask, Don't Tell out of his FY '10 defense budget.... If he doesn't do so, he is effectively signaling that the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members will be OK on his watch."

He also suggests that activist groups might use the occasion to demonstrate for or against gay equality in the military. We'll be following all developments closely.
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Postby chidiver » Tue May 12, 2009 3:41 pm

White House: Law only answer for gays in military
From Associated Press
May 12, 2009 2:52 PM EDT

WASHINGTON - The White House says it won't stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military while the Obama administration works to repeal a decade-old policy banning openly gay people from serving in uniform.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that President Barack Obama does not plan to intervene in current cases against men and women who announce their homosexuality.

Gibbs says the president wants to do away with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy through legislation.

Gibbs says the policy does not serve the national interest and that Obama is working with lawmakers for what Gibbs calls a "durable legislative solution." He says a repeal of the policy requires "more than the snapping of one's fingers."

Critics of the policy have called on Obama to stop the dismissals now.
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:32 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aubrey-sa ... 05553.html

Aubrey Sarvis
Executive Director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Air Force Boots Their 25 Million Dollar Aviator (He's Gay)


New President. New Congress. No Change. Here is the latest evidence of what our country is losing under the law that prevents gay men and women from serving openly in the armed forces of the United States.

Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Fehrenbach, a fighter weapons systems officer, has been flying the F-15E Strike Eagle since 1998. He has flown numerous missions against Taliban and al-Qaida targets, including the longest combat mission in his squadron's history. On that infamous September 11, 2001, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach was handpicked to fly sorties above the nation's capital. Later he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has received at least 30 awards and decorations including nine air medals, one of them for heroism, as well as campaign medals for Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is now a flight instructor in Idaho, where he has passed on his skills to more than 300 future Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force weapons systems officers.

Since 1987, when Fehrenbach entered Notre Dame on a full Air Force ROTC scholarship, the government has invested twenty-five million dollars in training and equipping him to serve his country, which he has done with what anyone would agree was great distinction. He comes from a military family. His father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, his mother an Air Force nurse and captain. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach has honored that tradition.

And the Air Force is about to discharge this guy, a virtual poster boy for Air Force recruiting, because he is gay? Someone has to be kidding. This is sheer madness.

But Lt. Col. Fehrenbach does not have to be discharged. There is something the Pentagon can and should do now. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach's commanders and senior commanders can retain him in the service. Individual commanders are allowing many gays and lesbians to continue to serve openly in the armed forces. They are doing so because these are good service members who are doing their jobs. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach is no danger to unit cohesion, or to morale, or to good order and discipline. He goes to work every day, does a fantastic job for his country, has all the medals and job performance evaluations to prove it, and he should be allowed to serve.

Is the discharge of an officer with such critical and valuable skills, whom the government has spent millions training, is that really what Congress intended when it gave us "don't ask, don't tell"? Only last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told members of Congress, "If we don't get the people part of this business right, none of our other decisions will matter." Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress, "This is how we take care of our people."

He should have said, "This is how we take care of some of our people," because neither Secretary Gates nor Admiral Mullen could have been thinking of the 65,000 gays and lesbians in uniform today. Certainly they were not thinking of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach when they talked about "getting the people part right" because they got the "people part" wrong.

Watching Gates and Mullen on the Hill last week, you could see what President Obama is up against. They know how to deliver great performances. They know very well that their new Commander in Chief wants to get rid of "don't ask, don't tell." They know the President needs their help to accomplish it. So far, to put it gently, they have not been particularly helpful. "Dragging their feet" best describes what they've been doing, and the President, waiting on his military, finds himself in a box.

In an Associated Press story this afternoon, reporter Lara Jakes quoted Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell as saying that both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen are "aware of where the President wants to go on this issue, but I don't think that there is any sense of any immediate developments in the offing on efforts to repeal don't ask-don't tell." Does this mean they know where the President wants to go but they're not going there? It doesn't sound as if the President has made a lot of progress in getting the Pentagon players on his team.

The impending discharge of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach, an 18-year combat aviator, and the likely discharge of First Lieutenant Dan Choi , an Arabic speaking Army platoon leader, put real faces on this sad unfolding drama. These two service members and scores of others are paying an enormous price while grown men and women in Washington do their political dance. And make no mistake, Congress is in on this dance, too. It is their "don't ask, don't tell" law. They passed it; they own it. Only they can repeal it. Let's be fair and accurate here. This is far more complicated than a simple stroke of the presidential pen. If an Executive Order to temporarily suspend DADT discharges would work on all fronts, for all service members, I would be all for it. But we need a real, lasting fix.

A law is a law, even a bad law. Our country and service members are suffering the consequences as we watch this theater of the absurd play out. We need this new 111th Congress and this new President to engage each other immediately and with a sense of urgency to stop this obvious madness.

What is happening in the United States military today is not the 17th century witch trials in Salem - nobody has been hanged on Gallows Hill - but it's not what most Americans think of as just or fair in a country that prides itself as having the best justice system in the world.
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:32 pm

Stephen Colbert on Don't Ask, Don't Tell: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colber ... don-t-tell
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Postby Bramasole_iowa » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:46 pm

Image
In an act of daring befitting a West Point graduate and veteran of Iraq, recently discharged New York National Guard Lieutenant Daniel Choi defied the orders of dozens of crowd control police and stepped into the 'no protest zone' street to ceremoniously salute his Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, out of site at a star-studded fundraiser at the posh Beverly Hilton Hotel.



The Advocate wrote: June 15, 2009

Sen. Reid: No Sponsors for DADT

By Kerry Eleveld

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaking at a press conference Monday said he has no plans to introduce a bill to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" in the Senate.

"I haven't identified any sponsors," he said. "My hope is that it can be done administratively."

A Democratic aide later clarified that Reid was speaking about the possibility of using an executive order to suspend discharges or perhaps halting enforcement of the policy by changing departmental regulations within the Department of Defense.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has continually said in recent months that President Barack Obama believes the only "durable solution" to repealing the military's gay ban would be to do so through legislative action.

Senator Reid also indicated that he is waiting on the House of Representatives to take action on the bill that was introduced there in March.

"If the House moves on this," he said, "I would be happy to take it up."
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Re: 2009 status of DADT

Postby Bramasole_iowa » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:17 am

NY Sen. to introduce bill to stop gay military discharges?
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief, 365gay.com
07.13.2009 2:35pm EDT

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) may introduce a bill in the Senate later this week to put an 18-month moratorium on discharges under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
It would be the first time since the vote on the military ban in 1993 that Senators would be forced to publicly state their stand on gays and lesbians serving in the military.

Jason Bellini reports in the Daily Beast that Gillibrand may introduce her amendment on Tuesday to the Defense reauthorization bill.

The Daily Beast reports:

“If the amendment were to pass, gay-rights leaders expect it would stand a strong chance of being approved by the House and could be signed into law by President Obama, who has expressed his desire for the ban to be lifted. Rep. Patrick Murphy is trying to build support for a bill that has already been introduced in the House that would repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
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Re: 2009 status of DADT

Postby Bramasole_iowa » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:14 am

Gay military ban stalled?
Jennifer Vanasco
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief, 365gay.com
09.03.2009 9:10am EDT

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ isn’t on anyone’s agenda in the near future, says Politico (hat tip: Towleroad):

“Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says the Senate is swamped and has little time on the schedule for this fight. The Pentagon brass is reticent and wants a go-slow strategy, while a majority of the rank and file in the military opposes changing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law. With no Republican co-sponsors for a repeal, key moderate Democrats such as Sens. Jim Webb of Virginia and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas remain uncommitted.

And the Senate’s patron saint of this cause, Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), died before being able to introduce long-promised bipartisan legislation to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

And absent a big push from the Pentagon and Obama, key Senate Democrats are signaling that there is little appetite to anger some of their more socially conservative voters at a time when election forecasters are signaling a tough 2010 election cycle for the party.”

Still, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings on the ban this fall - the first since 1993, thanks to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the NY Senator who has become one of our most stalwart supporters after taking over Hillary Clinton’s seat.
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Re: 2009 status of DADT

Postby foxeyes2 » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:51 pm

^ I am not surprised in the least. this is one area that President Obama is falling down on the job in comparasion to what he promised. Unless something major happens I do not expect any progress on it until after the 2010 elections and perhaps not until 2012 if he gets elected again.
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Re: 2009 status of DADT

Postby olywaguy » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:14 pm

The transcript and video of President Obama's speech to the Human Rights Campaign this past weekend.


THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
__________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release October 10, 2009

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN DINNER

Walter E. Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

8:10 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Please, you're making me blush. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Barack!

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)

To Joe Solmonese, who's doing an outstanding job on behalf of HRC. (Applause.) To my great friend and supporter, Terry Bean, co-founder of HRC. (Applause.) Representative Patrick Kennedy. (Applause.) David Huebner, the Ambassador-designee to New Zealand and Samoa. (Applause.) John Berry, our Director of OPM, who's doing a great job. (Applause.) Nancy Sutley, Chairman of Council on Environmental Quality. (Applause.) Fred Hochberg, Chairman of Export-Import Bank. (Applause.) And my dear friend, Tipper Gore, who's in the house. (Applause.)

Thank you so much, all of you. It is a privilege to be here tonight to open for Lady GaGa. (Applause.) I've made it. (Laughter.) I want to thank the Human Rights Campaign for inviting me to speak and for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard in their jobs and care deeply about their families -- and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. (Applause.)

For nearly 30 years, you've advocated on behalf of those without a voice. That's not easy. For despite the real gains that we've made, there's still laws to change and there's still hearts to open. There are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors, even loved ones -- good and decent people -- who hold fast to outworn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; who would deny you the rights most Americans take for granted. And that's painful and it's heartbreaking. (Applause.) And yet you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make, and by the power of the example that you set in your own lives -- as parents and friends, as PTA members and church members, as advocates and leaders in your communities. And you're making a difference.

That's the story of the movement for fairness and equality, and not just for those who are gay, but for all those in our history who've been denied the rights and responsibilities of citizenship -- (applause) -- for all who've been told that the full blessings and opportunities of this country were closed to them. It's the story of progress sought by those with little influence or power; by men and women who brought about change through quiet, personal acts of compassion -- and defiance -- wherever and whenever they could.

It's the story of the Stonewall protests, when a group of citizens -- (applause) -- when a group of citizens with few options, and fewer supporters stood up against discrimination and helped to inspire a movement. It's the story of an epidemic that decimated a community -- and the gay men and women who came to support one another and save one another; who continue to fight this scourge; and who have demonstrated before the world that different kinds of families can show the same compassion in a time of need. (Applause.) And it's the story of the Human Rights Campaign and the fights you've fought for nearly 30 years: helping to elect candidates who share your values; standing against those who would enshrine discrimination into our Constitution; advocating on behalf of those living with HIV/AIDS; and fighting for progress in our capital and across America. (Applause.)

This story, this fight continue now. And I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight. (Applause.) For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot -- and we will not -- put aside issues of basic equality. I greatly appreciate the support I've received from many in this room. I also appreciate that many of you don't believe progress has come fast enough. I want to be honest about that, because it's important to be honest among friends.

Now, I've said this before, I'll repeat it again -- it's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans petitioning for equal rights half a century ago. (Applause.) But I will say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I think it's important to remember that there is not a single issue that my administration deals with on a daily basis that does not touch on the lives of the LGBT community. (Applause.) We all have a stake in reviving this economy. We all have a stake in putting people back to work. We all have a stake in improving our schools and achieving quality, affordable health care. We all have a stake in meeting the difficult challenges we face in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Applause.)

For while some may wish to define you solely by your sexual orientation or gender identity alone, you know -- and I know -- that none of us wants to be defined by just one part of what makes us whole. (Applause.) You're also parents worried about your children's futures. You're spouses who fear that you or the person you love will lose a job. You're workers worried about the rising cost of health insurance. You're soldiers. You are neighbors. You are friends. And, most importantly, you are Americans who care deeply about this country and its future. (Applause.)

So I know you want me working on jobs and the economy and all the other issues that we're dealing with. But my commitment to you is unwavering even as we wrestle with these enormous problems. And while progress may be taking longer than you'd like as a result of all that we face -- and that's the truth -- do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach. (Applause.)

My expectation is that when you look back on these years, you will see a time in which we put a stop to discrimination against gays and lesbians -- whether in the office or on the battlefield. (Applause.) You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman. (Applause.) You will see a nation that's valuing and cherishing these families as we build a more perfect union -- a union in which gay Americans are an important part. I am committed to these goals. And my administration will continue fighting to achieve them.

And there's no more poignant or painful reminder of how important it is that we do so than the loss experienced by Dennis and Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was stolen in a terrible act of violence 11 years ago. In May, I met with Judy -- who's here tonight with her husband -- I met her in the Oval Office, and I promised her that we were going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill -- a bill named for her son. (Applause.)

This struggle has been long. Time and again we faced opposition. Time and again, the measure was defeated or delayed. But the Shepards never gave up. (Applause.) They turned tragedy into an unshakeable commitment. (Applause.) Countless activists and organizers never gave up. You held vigils, you spoke out, year after year, Congress after Congress. The House passed the bill again this week. (Applause.) And I can announce that after more than a decade, this bill is set to pass and I will sign it into law. (Applause.)

It's a testament to the decade-long struggle of Judy and Dennis, who tonight will receive a tribute named for somebody who inspired so many of us -- named for Senator Ted Kennedy, who fought tirelessly for this legislation. (Applause.) And it's a testament to the Human Rights Campaign and those who organized and advocated. And it's a testament to Matthew and to others who've been the victims of attacks not just meant to break bones, but to break spirits -- not meant just to inflict harm, but to instill fear. Together, we will have moved closer to that day when no one has to be afraid to be gay in America. (Applause.) When no one has to fear walking down the street holding the hand of the person they love. (Applause.)

But we know there's far more work to do. We're pushing hard to pass an inclusive employee non-discrimination bill. (Applause.) For the first time ever, an administration official testified in Congress in favor of this law. Nobody in America should be fired because they're gay, despite doing a great job and meeting their responsibilities. It's not fair. It's not right. We're going to put a stop to it. (Applause.) And it's for this reason that if any of my nominees are attacked not for what they believe but for who they are, I will not waver in my support, because I will not waver in my commitment to ending discrimination in all its forms. (Applause.)

We are reinvigorating our response to HIV/AIDS here at home and around the world. (Applause.) We're working closely with the Congress to renew the Ryan White program and I look forward to signing it into law in the very near future. (Applause.) We are rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. (Applause.) The regulatory process to enact this important change is already underway. And we also know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia. Jeffrey Crowley, the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, recently held a forum in Washington, D.C., and is holding forums across the country, to seek input as we craft a national strategy to address this crisis.

We are moving ahead on Don't Ask Don't Tell. (Applause.) We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country. We should be celebrating their willingness to show such courage and selflessness on behalf of their fellow citizens, especially when we're fighting two wars. (Applause.)

We cannot afford to cut from our ranks people with the critical skills we need to fight any more than we can afford -- for our military's integrity -- to force those willing to do so into careers encumbered and compromised by having to live a lie. So I'm working with the Pentagon, its leadership, and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy. Legislation has been introduced in the House to make this happen. I will end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That's my commitment to you. (Applause.)

It is no secret that issues of great concern to gays and lesbians are ones that raise a great deal of emotion in this country. And it's no secret that progress has been incredibly difficult -- we can see that with the time and dedication it took to pass hate crimes legislation. But these issues also go to the heart of who we are as a people. Are we a nation that can transcend old attitudes and worn divides? Can we embrace our differences and look to the hopes and dreams that we share? Will we uphold the ideals on which this nation was founded: that all of us are equal, that all of us deserve the same opportunity to live our lives freely and pursue our chance at happiness? I believe we can; I believe we will. (Applause.)

And that is why -- that's why I support ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country. (Applause.) I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples. I've required all agencies in the federal government to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as the current law allows. And I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act. (Applause.) And we must all stand together against divisive and deceptive efforts to feed people's lingering fears for political and ideological gain.

For the struggle waged by the Human Rights Campaign is about more than any policy we can enshrine into law. It's about our capacity to love and commit to one another. It's about whether or not we value as a society that love and commitment. It's about our common humanity and our willingness to walk in someone else's shoes: to imagine losing a job not because of your performance at work but because of your relationship at home; to imagine worrying about a spouse in the hospital, with the added fear that you'll have to produce a legal document just to comfort the person you love -- (applause) -- to imagine the pain of losing a partner of decades and then discovering that the law treats you like a stranger. (Applause.)

If we are honest with ourselves we'll admit that there are too many who do not yet know in their lives or feel in their hearts the urgency of this struggle. That's why I continue to speak about the importance of equality for LGBT families -- and not just in front of gay audiences. That's why Michelle and I have invited LGBT families to the White House to participate in events like the Easter Egg Roll -- because we want to send a message. (Applause.) And that's why it's so important that you continue to speak out, that you continue to set an example, that you continue to pressure leaders -- including me -- and to make the case all across America. (Applause.)

So, tonight I'm hopeful -- because of the activism I see in this room, because of the compassion I've seen all across America, and because of the progress we have made throughout our history, including the history of the movement for LGBT equality.

Soon after the protests at Stonewall 40 years ago, the phone rang in the home of a soft-spoken elementary school teacher named Jeanne Manford. It was 1:00 in the morning, and it was the police. Now, her son, Morty, had been at the Stonewall the night of the raids. Ever since, he had felt within him a new sense of purpose. So when the officer told Jeanne that her son had been arrested, which was happening often to gay protesters, she was not entirely caught off guard. And then the officer added one more thing, "And you know, he's homosexual." (Laughter.) Well, that police officer sure was surprised when Jeanne responded, "Yes, I know. Why are you bothering him?" (Applause.)

And not long after, Jeanne would be marching side-by-side with her son through the streets of New York. She carried a sign that stated her support. People cheered. Young men and women ran up to her, kissed her, and asked her to talk to their parents. And this gave Jeanne and Morty an idea.

And so, after that march on the anniversary of the Stonewall protests, amidst the violence and the vitriol of a difficult time for our nation, Jeanne and her husband Jules -- two parents who loved their son deeply -- formed a group to support other parents and, in turn, to support their children, as well. At the first meeting Jeanne held, in 1973, about 20 people showed up. But slowly, interest grew. Morty's life, tragically, was cut short by AIDS. But the cause endured. Today, the organization they founded for parents, families, and friends of lesbians and gays -- (applause) -- has more than 200,000 members and supporters, and has made a difference for countless families across America. And Jeanne would later say, "I considered myself such a traditional person. I didn't even cross the street against the light." (Laughter.) "But I wasn't going to let anybody walk over Morty." (Applause.)

That's the story of America: of ordinary citizens organizing, agitating and advocating for change; of hope stronger than hate; of love more powerful than any insult or injury; of Americans fighting to build for themselves and their families a nation in which no one is a second-class citizen, in which no one is denied their basic rights, in which all of us are free to live and love as we see fit. (Applause.)

Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let's say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he's held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it's time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us -- on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.

I believe the future is bright for that young person. For while there will be setbacks and bumps along the road, the truth is that our common ideals are a force far stronger than any division that some might sow. These ideals, when voiced by generations of citizens, are what made it possible for me to stand here today. (Applause.) These ideals are what made it possible for the people in this room to live freely and openly when for most of history that would have been inconceivable. That's the promise of America, HRC. That's the promise we're called to fulfill. (Applause.) Day by day, law by law, changing mind by mind, that is the promise we are fulfilling.

Thank you for the work you're doing. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)

END 8:35 P.M. EDT

Carlos

"I just want to suck his tongue out of his mouth !"--JPaul


http://www.askcarlos.com/
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Re: 2009 status of DADT

Postby furface » Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:21 pm

Now all he has to do is call Pelosi and Reid into his office and tell them in no uncertain terms to get their act together and do something. That and enforce some sort of party discipline. In short - pretty speech, now actually do something. How 'bout an executive order for stop loss under DADT?
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Re: 2009 status of DADT

Postby Rico » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:41 pm

furface wrote:Now all he has to do is call Pelosi and Reid into his office and tell them in no uncertain terms to get their act together and do something. That and enforce some sort of party discipline. In short - pretty speech, now actually do something. How 'bout an executive order for stop loss under DADT?

You're right on the tactics but I fear we will not see them employed any time soon. I still have great hope for Obama and in his leadership, but never has a man seemed so unable to turn inspiring and soaring rhetoric into reality, not only on this issue but on most others as well. It's a huge disappointment.
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Re: 2009 status of DADT

Postby Bramasole_iowa » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:13 am

Heard that a DADT repeal may be added to the fiscal 2011 defense budget bill.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Bramasole_iowa » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:12 pm

John McCain Caught Flip-Flopping on DADT

In 2006 McCain stated when the senior military staff told him to repeal the ban, he would support doing so.
Now that the Joint Chiefs Chairman and the Secretary of Defense have spoken in favor of repealing DADT, McCain has changed his tune and believes the senior staff are out of touch with the military and with veterans.

Joe Sestak schools McCain on DADT
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired three-star Navy admiral who’s trying to win the Democratic nomination for Senate from Pennsylvania, has issued a statement checking McCain:

“As the senior ranking military Veteran in Congress, I am compelled to respond to Sen. McCain’s opposition to President Obama’s commitment to allowing all American troops to serve their country openly and honestly. How can a policy that has dismissed more than 13,000 trained, able, and honorable American servicemembers — including upwards of 800 troops with “mission critical” skills, like Arab linguists — be viewed as successful?

“Especially in a time of war, when our military is overstretched and our troops and their families are under unprecedented strain, we cannot afford to lose any more troops that the American people depend on for our national security. I agree with Sen. McCain that our military is the best in the world and the best in our nation’s history. That’s precisely why I have faith in the leadership capabilities of our officer corps and non-commissioned officers, as well as the dedication, professionalism, and integrity of our troops, to handle this transition without detriment to readiness or capability.

“The men and women who wear the cloth of this nation should be entitled to the rights they so heroically defend.”
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby backpacker » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:30 pm

He was probably saying that back then to get some support from gays and lesbians to get elected. Now that his party is trying to claw its way back to majority status he has to change his tune for votes.
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