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Harry Reid, Judy Shepard on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', Hate Crimes Bills


Speaking at a press briefing this afternoon in support of the hate crimes bill expected to get a vote in the Senate this week, Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he would not only support a rumored bill from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand placing a moratorium on gay military discharges, he would like to make it permanent.

Said Reid: "We’re having trouble getting people into the military. And I think that we shouldn’t turn down anybody that’s willing to fight for our country, certainly based on sexual orientation.

Judy Shepard also appeared at the press conference. Both their remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. It is about time.

    The House passed and sent the Matthew Shepard Act (as well as ENDA) over to the Senate way back in 2007. It has been sitting idle ever since.

    Posted by: John | Jul 14, 2009 8:22:34 PM

  2. Correct me if I'm wrong. But this seems to be kinda a big deal.

    Firm commitment to ending DADT by the Senate Majority Leader. No down the road, no passing the buck to another branch of the government, no equivocation.

    Letsee if he acts on his words, unlike some other Democratic leaders.

    Posted by: samwise | Jul 14, 2009 8:24:35 PM

  3. Oh Harry Reid, you have finally grown a spine.
    But talk is way tooooo easy. I want to see action.

    Now I would like to see you speak out in support of the DOMA repeal and also including LGBT families in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

    You want our gay $$$, you'll have to work for it.

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Jul 14, 2009 8:29:09 PM

  4. First: bless Judy Shepard.

    Second: Reid's statement IS really significant after another barrage of bullshit excuses by BO over the weekend.

    It's also significant by itself AND because it is the SECOND time Reid, the highest ranking Democrat in the US Senate, has called out the President, the leader of his Party, on DADT paralysis. [Note, too, Reid appeared at a press conference with Shepard about the hate crimes bill while Obama could only stop long enough to pose for a still photo with her at the White House a couple of months back then ran off to his next meeting.]

    Gay groups can huff and puff all they want about DADT[and they shouldn't stop] but that's what they're expected to do. The fact is that nongays, mostly in the MSM, are the segment that have propelled the subject of DADT to DEFCON 3, and thus amplified the effect of gays cutting off funding to the DNC.

    The President is caught in a trap of his own making and we must applaud anyone who helps us, however imperfectly in other terms, tighten it until he yells, "Uncle"....or, in this case, "FREEZE DISCHARGES!"

    To draw on other metaphors, Pharoah's heart has hardened and it's going to take several plagues of various types to get him to finally say, "Let 'em go er serve."

    I'm skeptical of Gillibrand's approach passing, but just talking about it keeps the subject of the damage that DADT does to gay servicemembers and national security alive.

    Some ask what would happen to gays identified during the moratorium afterward if DADT remains in effect. For the record, there was a moratorium on discharges for six months during the 1993 debate by which any gays identified were transferred to the "standby reserves." When it was over and Sam Nunn and Colin Powell and their fellow homohating tribe members had finished gangbanging Clinton, those people were processed for discharge. I am skeptical of a similar result in this case because, as Palm Center director Aaron Belkin puts it, times have changed enough that once they stop discharges by whatever method it will be impossible to put the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube.

    Another point. Too many both pro and anti DADT keep assuming that everyone gay currently in the armed services...estimated to be around 65,000...would suddenly out themselves either during such a moratorium or after full repeal. While the percentages would probably be slightly higher today than were found in the expansive 1993 Rand Study, its basic finding in their study of foreign militaries and domestic police and fire departments which have a policy of nondiscrimination that relatively few DO out themselves after such a change would, I'm convinced, remain true.

    The day is coming faster and faster when Obama is going to look up and realize that the only people agreeing with his inaction are the bedraggled remnants of the Obama Borg and the dinosaurs in the Jurrassic Park of the Pentagon in whose claws he willingly placed his testicles.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 14, 2009 9:01:35 PM

  5. Beware the Obama pattern....

    1. Spread a rumor Obama (or the democrats) are going to do something "liberal"
    2. Obama (or the democrats) either come out against the idea or ignore it
    3. Obama (and the democrats) think they are winning over "centerists" but it is at the expense of real democrats who have supported the democratic party for decades

    Posted by: Robert | Jul 14, 2009 9:15:45 PM

  6. Does anyone know if there are enough votes in the Senate to pass the Hate Crimes Bill?

    Posted by: Johnny | Jul 14, 2009 11:06:21 PM

  7. Confidential to MICHAEL @ LEONARDMATLOVICH.COM: Edit for brevity. Much more appealing in a blog comment.

    Posted by: David R. | Jul 14, 2009 11:31:26 PM

  8. Confidential to David R.

    You have three choices for your unfortunate underendowment er attention deficit disorder.

    1. Ritalin

    2. The scroll bar to the right of your screen.

    3. Kissing my ass.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 15, 2009 2:02:32 AM

  9. Confident to David R: the anti-Obama screeds of Michael @ are not for the reader... they are for the writer. He clearly can't get enough of the 'sound' of his own 'voice'.

    Posted by: Kugel | Jul 15, 2009 2:26:23 AM

  10. I don't think our senator has "called out" the President. If you know anything about Team Obama, no one makes a move like this without his approval. That DOMA brief is the perfect example of why no one moves without his permission. I know in my soul that Reid would NEVER do anything like this without first getting approved if the President didn't ask him to do it himself.

    Also, I have been reading the comments section at Towleroad for quite a long time. I am beginning to think a LOT of trolls are here to put down everything this administration does. I know a whole lot of politically active Gays and maybe one or two are in the same mindset as so many here. Makes me think we either are infected with trolls ,or, the people who Bitch the loudest here are in the (very) small minority of Gays.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Jul 15, 2009 2:48:56 AM

  11. @ Derek Washington,

    Thank God for folks like you!

    Posted by: DUPREE | Jul 15, 2009 5:45:06 AM

  12. @ Derek Washington

    The phenomena you describe is an unfortunate by-product when people are allowed to make anonymous comments. You have the courage to list your real name, but most people who post here do not.

    I have written to Andy in the past suggesting that he require that people post using their real names. Respectable newspapers do not print anonymous letters.

    I also think it would be good to limit a person to one post per article. These two changes, I believe would elevate the level of discourse on this site.

    Bill Voetberg

    Posted by: F. William Voetberg | Jul 15, 2009 6:37:12 AM

  13. Derek - Towleroad attacts a MONIED BASE URBAN SELFISH crowd .... thus the Gay Republican trolls.

    Posted by: Willie | Jul 15, 2009 10:00:28 AM

  14. @Derek Washington.

    Such trolls keep our feet to the fire.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | Jul 15, 2009 10:09:17 AM

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