Repeal of DADT – White House says no?

Reports from the blogosphere indicate the White House may be trying to stall Congressional repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. 

OK, let me try to summarize this ….

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a letter vaguely warning Congress NOT to include repeal of DADT in the military appropriations bill because they need to keep in mind the opinions of homophobic soldiers. 

Pam has the story and the letter.

The White House responded by saying Congressional implementation will be delayed until the Department of Defense study is done in the latter part of the year.  This is widely opposed by pretty much everyone because its a clear attempt to avoid hurting mid-term elections and yet another postponement of our equality to appease bigots.

Speaker Pelosi shot back.

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement in response to a letter sent this afternoon by Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Secretary Robert Gates concerning the repeal of the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy:

“We all look forward to the report on the review of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy by the Defense Department. In the meantime, the Administration should immediately place a moratorium on dismissals under this policy until the review has been completed and Congress has acted.”

Complete moratorium!

DADT has quickly become a flashpoint issue, touching on some of the most basic issues of homophobia in our society. The idea of waiting until the voters are ready and the bigoted soldiers are ready is complete bullshit. It would seem to me that if you can prepare someone to go into a war zone and come out somewhat psychologically intact, you can help them learn to cope with serving alongside gay people. 

Sunday will see a rally in Lafayette Park in DC featuring Lt. Dan Choi who has recently participated in two direct actions on this issue. 

So what does this mean for Pittsburgh? We need to maintain the positive pressure on our federal officials.  A great opportunity  is coming up on next Saturday when Senator Arlen Specter offers a reception for the LGBT community.  We can ask Senator Specter for his advice on what we can do with our specific delegation.

Isn't it tiresome to be told to be patient? Again? 



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