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AC360 on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Same-Sex Marriage, and Obama

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Anderson Cooper covered social issues and the pressure on President Obama to take action on his campaign promises. Candy Crowley reports on the current situation and Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and DNC member Robert Zimmerman join Anderson to discuss the administration's silence.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Witt Also, today the Wall Street Journal takes up the issue of Obama and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", noting that the administration let pass a May 3 deadline to appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of the expulsion of Major Margaret Witt: "That means the case will be returned to the district court, and administration officials said they will continue to defend the law there." Witt had served as an Air Force reservist flight nurse for 20 years until she was ratted out by a citizen in her home town of Spokane who, according to her attorney, called the Air Force and told them she was living with her female partner there.

The WSJ reports: "President Obama faced an early March deadline to file an appeal to the Supreme Court. Obama aides twice filed requests asking for a one-month extension, which the court granted. The administration let the most recent deadline pass without seeking another extension. A Justice Department spokeswoman said the government would defend the law at the trial over Maj. Witt's dismissal. The decision not to appeal to the Supreme Court 'is a procedural decision made because the case is still working its way through the regular judicial process,' she said."

Watch the AC360 segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Obama has thrown us under the bus and has left us for dead. We must fight for the change that we want.

    Posted by: AS13 | May 19, 2009 7:50:31 AM


  2. where was the GAY point of view ??

    Posted by: Rick in Robbinsville | May 19, 2009 7:57:44 AM


  3. I was very impressed with how Anderson pressed when Zimmerman tried to say Obama is only just past his first hundred days.

    Coop might not be "out" enough to satisfy some of his critics, but he's a great advocate of this community in his own way.

    Posted by: sparks | May 19, 2009 8:08:05 AM


  4. saw a litle of this last night

    he said something about the HIV travel ban and how people want that gone.

    besides HIV, aren't there other diseases and whatnot that people have and that the U.S. has banned from coming into this country?

    isn't the ban in place to prevent out of control spreading?? whats wrong wit that

    Posted by: ashley | May 19, 2009 8:29:42 AM


  5. @ Ashley...all it takes to prevent HIV spreading is two adult with clear minds. Stopping HIV positive people from entering the US does nothing when you have people shooting drugs with the same needle and people (male/male, male/female, female/female) using crystal and ecstasy so they can "Party and Play" all night. If you don't know what Party and Play is, Google it.

    We have a generation that is having unprotected sex because they didn't live through the decimation of the 80's and 90's and don't think condoms are the "in" thing. This is another reason why sex education should be taught in schools. As much as parents feel that they should provide that discussion, the vast majority WILL NOT discuss HIV transmission. And if you want to go the celebacy route...those who are pledging are having anal intercourse instead since in their minds they remain virgins and that's happening right here in the heartland of America even WITH a ban on HIV+ visitors.

    Posted by: Ric | May 19, 2009 9:40:37 AM


  6. "isn't the ban in place to prevent out of control spreading?? whats wrong wit that"

    Cue Al Jolson:

    "Though April showers may come your way, they bring the cretins than bloom in May."

    Must have been a monsoon in Towleland last month.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | May 19, 2009 9:49:18 AM


  7. Who would have ever thought that I would be defending Obama! However, it does not appear that he wants to repeat the situation with Bill Clinton. He needs to move forward carefully and not speak out before he has the political power to follow through.

    I admire Clinton for doing exactly what he said he would do. I am thankful to him for lifting the ban on LGBT federal employees. However, Obama doesn't want to repeat his failure on gays in the military. Just like health care reform, and trust me Obama has layed the ground work for health care in his stimulus package, he will layer on gay rights as he moves forward in his presidency. It may not be until after mid-term elections to ensure that he will not be slammed like Clinton with a Gingrich or worse but it will happen. He is governing from the middle more than I thought and that means that he will take his time. I am not giving up on Obama and gay rights just yet and for me to say that it is a miracle. All you have to do is look at some of my archived posts on the man and you will note that I have done a 180! Who would have thougth it?

    Posted by: RB | May 19, 2009 9:50:22 AM


  8. CNN can't address these issues seriously when they pull the rabidly anti-gay TONY PERKINS into the discussion and they know it. The fact that the segment is hosted by a closet case only adds to the absurdity.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | May 19, 2009 9:59:31 AM


  9. god i can't stand tony perkins

    Posted by: Joe | May 19, 2009 10:01:28 AM


  10. @RB...I posted something similar on another blog and got attacked for it. I'm keeping my hopes up, but I am concerned. I agree with you...we have a country in financial distress, we're in a war that never should have happened, we have people who have to decide on food or healthcare...and the is supposed to be the greatest country in the world?????

    Obama has other things to focus on right now; however, that being said his press secretary should be enlightening us on where the Prez stands on these issues. Doing that will stop the infighting that is now occuring.

    Posted by: Ric | May 19, 2009 10:35:26 AM


  11. Ok, I'm not thrilled with Obama on gay issues BUT AC shouldn't be allowed to ever talk about, report on, hold round robin clucking fests on gay issues due to the utter hypocricy of his living in the closet

    That said, RB and I seem to be somewhat in agreement on Obama and gay issues

    I am 100% for social revolution even to the point of knowing that not much progress ever happens without violent uprising of the masses BUT Obama is walking a fine line at the moment. We laugh about TX perry's talk of secession but he isn't a lone voice out there in the wilderness. GA legislature both houses passed with only 1 NAY vote the basic set up for secession and 2 other southern bible thumping states have followed the example. The largest parts of those who do not support Obama (30-32%) are overwhelmingly found in the bible thumping south.

    They HATE him with a passion because he is black and are barely not saying so publicly.

    Our rights+ His Blackness = SHIT hitting the fan.

    I hate the fact that he must tred lightly but lightly he MUST tred. As long as he gives us a pro gay supreme and doesn't interfere with the states passing our rights then I can be content for a while till more oldsters die off and he gains more political clout

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | May 19, 2009 10:42:21 AM


  12. ric there are probably a lot of people who dont if they have HIV in the fiRst place and if they alllll come over and have sex with people, protected or not, it can still get out of control. clear minds has nothing to do with it.

    if we let all these people in the country that have it it wont get better. sex education wont help because as you say people just dont have protected sex like they should. it's controled now. its bad in poor countries and poor neighborhoods- D.C. being the worst, in the U.S. but overall its not as bad and severe as it use to be. theres a new generation and the majority of them dont have HIV. bring in all these travelers and it could change very quickly. not all people with HIV are educated on safe sex.

    Posted by: ashley | May 19, 2009 10:48:16 AM


  13. @Ashley...you're contradicting yourself. Condoms and common sense DO PREVENT the spread of HIV and other STDs. I know mixed status couples that have been together for over a decade and they are STILL mixed status, ie. one is poz and one is neg.

    Secondly...the reason the younger generation is having unprotected sex is becuase THEY ARE NOT BEING EDUCATED.

    Just because someone visits a country doesn't mean they are going to have sex with someone. I've been all over the world and NOT had sex in the countries I've visited and I'm pretty confident that I am not in the minority.

    Posted by: Ric | May 19, 2009 10:53:42 AM


  14. Ashley: HIV is not transmitted via casual contact. Quarantining HIV+ people is in no way justified because some people have remained uneducated about prevention. Hyperbolic fears about HIV spreading out of control aren't an appropriate cause for discriminating against HIV+ travelers.

    RB, you're scaring me lately. I'm like agreeing with you waaaaaaay too often. Are you sure you're not an impostor?

    Posted by: Ernie | May 19, 2009 11:21:08 AM


  15. 1. There is no shorter answer to the "He really still believes what he said about DADT repeal/he's just taking his time" nonsense than the fact that HIS administration has declared they will continue to DEFEND Don't Ask, Don't Tell in court. Do not insult your own intelligence, let alone mine, by responding, "But they have to." They do not.

    What could possibly be his excuse for not even being willing to simply get out of the way of others building a greater case for overturning DADT by the courts [which would totally avoid any alleged confrontation with Congress], nor, minimally let the courts save individuals [while he does nothing] such as Witt from discharge [there's precedent of courts reinstating individuals while not overturning the ban itself]?

    2. Proof that the "trust him/it takes time" excuse is nothing more than two tons of bull trying to hide behind a ten pound tree that the fact that all that would be required for him to stop discharges would be the seconds it would take for him to sign an executive order invoking the power Congress gives any president under 10 United States Code 12305 to "suspend ANY provision of law relating to promotion, retirement, or separation applicable to ANY MEMBER of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the United States."

    That DADT weakens national security has been REPEATEDLY demonstrated, both in the case of the hundreds of gays with "mission critical" skills that have been discharged since 9/11 and the impact the discharge of gays generally has on maintaining adequate troop levels. If he is not capable of making the case in the name of national security, if he is not capable of making the case that a 9-yr. old from Colorado could make that discharging gays who are accepted by their fellow soldiers while inducting convicted felons is insane, then we are way up Potomac Shit Creek without a paddle.

    4. There is an even greater "business case" now for stopping, by any means necessary, discharges. The government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars training such people, and then has to spend hundreds of millions again to replace them after they're kicked out or refuse to reenlist because they can't stand to live a lie anymore. What's that Mr. President? This could increase my family's security AND save taxpayers money?

    3. There is NO excuse for anyone who CLAIMS to care about this issue [more than they care about grabbing at straws to make excuses for Obama] and who CLAIMS to be intelligent to still be squawking like a flock of talking White House birds mindlessly parroting their dishonest, worn out “Clinton’s Mistake” excuse. That’s right up there with “the dog ate my homework.”

    Don’t believe me? Haven't had time to read anything other than White House excuses. You're in luck. Historian and expert on DADT, Nathaniel Frank, author of “Unfriendly Fire,” has done the research for you:

    “Some think Clinton's mistake was to move too quickly on this issue, without consulting the military. Indeed, it seems this has become the current White House's rationale for delay. But this is the wrong lesson. Although Clinton spoke up early about this issue, usually in response to press inquiries, he opted not to issue a quick executive order, instead letting the debate spiral out of his control. Clinton did consult with the military, meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff within weeks of both his election; they simply didn't like what they heard, and their resistance crushed the resolve of the first president in half a century who hadn't served in uniform. Clinton's error was NOT moving too quickly--IT WAS MOVING TOO SLOWLY. Indeed, it was during his proposed six-month ‘time-out’ that religious conservatives hijacked the debate, eroded public support for change, and defeated the president.”

    4. The “He has far more important things on his plate/he can’t get into a fight with Congress now” excuse. First there is his justification through national security [if a moron like Bush can exploit it for 8 years what’s genuinely brilliant Obama’s excuse?]. Second:

    “Though the executive option might seem controversial, it would be a less explosive way to carry out a campaign promise than dragging the nation through a protracted debate in Congress. And once people see that gays can serve openly without incident, it will be easier to push a repeal of the law through Congress down the road.

    Some worry the debate over gay troops will distract Obama from other pressing issues and force him to expend valuable political capital. But unlike solving the economic crisis, reforming health care, or combating climate change, ending the gay ban takes few resources, little imagination, and no mystery. We know exactly what to do, and it can be done with the stroke of a pen.” – Frank

    There is NO case for further delay that withstands historical, legal, strategic, legislative, economic, national security, and, yes, moral scrutiny. “ALL THAT IS REQUIRED IS LEADERSHIP," Candidate Obama assured us in 2007. NOTHING has changed that.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 19, 2009 11:47:55 AM


  16. If I ever run across Tony, so his god help him.

    Posted by: Jay | May 19, 2009 11:48:49 AM


  17. Thank you, [email protected] for laying out the facts. You might also have mentioned Colin Powell threatened Clinton with his resignation as JCS and taking other senior officers with him if Clinton allowed gay's to serve. It turns out that Obama is just another politician whose word cannot be trusted and whose political courage is questionable. I predict Obama will be a major disappointment, not just to the LGBT community, but to the progressive cause as well. We were "hoping" for "change" but I fear we will get nothing but business as usual by a triangulating right of center moderate who will be little better than an African-American model of "Bubba" Bill Clinton, sans the sex scandal. I think Barry is just a bullshitter.

    Posted by: Bob R | May 19, 2009 12:27:56 PM


  18. Fuck Obama. Newsom 2012!

    Posted by: dc8stretch | May 19, 2009 12:48:31 PM


  19. Making it even clearer, defending lawsuits against DADT means the President's attorney's will be standing up in court and saying in his name,

    "We want Capt. Witt [and others like her] discharged simply for being gay."

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 19, 2009 1:07:02 PM


  20. Umm... i don't think AC is actually closeted. I think he's more or less out. He was on the Out 100 and didn't correct it, and gay news sites report on him constantly.

    You don't need to wave a rainbow flag to be out. I'm pretty sure he is out beyond any reasonable standard.

    Posted by: james | May 19, 2009 2:01:22 PM


  21. That was a fantastic discussion (on AC360, that is)! Although, there was no screaming or yelling or name-calling. So until there is, I think Cooper's ratings will continue to slip while O'Reilly's increase :(

    Posted by: damien | May 19, 2009 3:30:38 PM


  22. @Michael
    Thank you for an eloquent and right on the money argument!!! The excuses that are being tossed around are just that: excuses.
    The right-wing wants nothing more than for us to "be patient and wait and see." That plays into the anti-gay forces' hands just perfectly.
    Some of the posters on here are doing us more harm than good.
    If you are not clamoring for equal rights action NOW, then you are part of the problem.
    Stop apologizing for the Obama administration dragging its feet and instead hold their feet to the fire!
    If we don't press for our own rights no one else is going to do it. Get mad and get motivated!

    Posted by: Jeffrey | May 19, 2009 3:46:40 PM


  23. I'm sorry, I have n respect for AC as long as he plays this game of having his cake and eating it too. I am a firm believer that whenever you are physically safe, you should tell people that you are gay. It lets people know there are people around them are gay and not some alien creatures to be vilified.

    Anderson Cooper is safer than anyone and is behaving in a cowardly manner by not saying what and who he is. His coming out would be a big step towards our eventually achieving equality. Of course, if he's not up to it....

    Posted by: Derek Washington | May 19, 2009 4:18:33 PM


  24. Michael

    I sympathize with your points but maybe I didn't make my point clearly enough

    The south and much of the south and central west is where the majority of US war tech, military bases and posts for our soldiers are located. The US gov moved/ opened many/ the majority of US military infrastructure to those areas because they literally had nothing as far as industry or infrastructure and the basses provided cash flow into those areas with military personnel spending cash off base. Butch socialism wealth redistribution = bring the south and parts of the west into the 20th century way back when

    TX perry is not a lone voice. Secessionists are gaining ground in the south with the latest polls showing the south coming in at between 1/4 to 1/3 wanting to secede from the union since Obama was elected.

    The east coast, north, north west and west coast would crush the south financially and intellectually in a civil war BUT the south would crush us militarily.

    They hate Obama because he is black and add in him pushing gung ho on our rights = secession movement exploding into something we might not want to deal with.

    Obama must walk a fine line

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | May 19, 2009 4:34:51 PM


  25. "the south would crush us militarily".

    jimmyboyo, that is only if you imagine that every Black, liberal, female, etc., soldier would join such a crazy movement.

    I must say, some smart author should be doing a book treatment about this right now.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | May 19, 2009 4:51:34 PM


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