Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Iraq | Patrick Murphy

Murphy on Repealing DADT: "Now Is the Time to Make It Happen"


Last night, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) explained to Rachel Maddow his decision to sponsor legislation to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

"It's our job now to act with a sense of urgency to make it happen," he said. He told Maddow that he agrees with President Obama's decision not to suspend the policy in advance of Congress sending him a bill to sign, drawing comparisons to President Bush's unilateral decisions.

He reports having support from his colleagues, but does say some representatives of conservative districts will not co-sponsor the bill even if they've privately assured him they'd vote for it.

As for his reasoning in opposing DADT, this Iraq War vet argues:

"When you're in Baghdad in 138-degree heat like I was exactly six years ago, when you're [looking at] the guys to your left and your right or that young women to your left or your right, the fact is you don't care what their sexual orientation is, you don't care what their race is, their religion is, their creed is—you care if they can fire an assault rife, if they can kick down a door, that's what this is about. And that's why we need to repeal this, because now is the time to make it happen."

Video after the jump...

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  1. Awesome! This will still take some time though as Cap and Trade, Health Care Reform, and Supreme Court Hearings are going in the Senate this Summer. But by Fall and Winter we might have equality in the military. The President will def sign if this hits his desk.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Jul 9, 2009 7:54:51 AM

  2. I'm very pleased that Representative Murphy, a former veteran, is leading the repeal of DADT in Congress. His reasons for doing so are exactly the reasons that should be stressed...besides equality, which ALL Americans should support, DADT harms our national security. I'm more encouraged that this good member of Congress is leading the fight for DADT repeal. And perhaps John Kerry can do the same in the Senate.

    Posted by: Terry | Jul 9, 2009 8:36:48 AM

  3. Murphy is straight, Irish-American, and Catholic, so this is a good smack at the vicious gays who try to portray all three as "the enemy."

    Posted by: JT | Jul 9, 2009 9:34:12 AM

  4. Kudos to Pat Murphy... He's a rock star in my book..

    Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 9, 2009 9:55:06 AM

  5. He's a great reminder that although it is up to the LGBT community to fight for their own equal rights, it is also with the help of their straight allies that they will be able to rise up to the challenge.

    Rep. Murphy is right: DADT as ideology and theory can't hold up against the practicality of a conflict or frontline situation.

    Posted by: Hish | Jul 9, 2009 10:11:17 AM

  6. Good for him! Today is a proud day in PA!

    Posted by: DR | Jul 9, 2009 10:14:46 AM

  7. So he's going to quarterback this for us, right? Because we need him to quarterback it, someone has to quarterback it.


    Posted by: John M | Jul 9, 2009 10:17:30 AM

  8. Stop saying Quarterback.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 9, 2009 11:15:33 AM

  9. Just talked to my Mom this morning and it turns out she knows Pat's mom and Pat since when he was a kid. Mom is going to give them a big "thank you" from me when she talks to her next.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 9, 2009 11:20:20 AM

  10. This is a no-brainer. Barry Goldwater was right:
    "You don't have to be straight;you just have to shoot straight (to be in the military)".
    PS.....we Irish are not the Neanderthal bigots that some believe......some of us are gay, educated, liberal and mad as hell.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 9, 2009 12:16:49 PM

  11. Great news that he's now leading the repeal effort in the House BUT we need to wake him up to the fact the the President's legal authority to freeze discharges if he wants regardless of ANY other law, given to the Executive by Congress years ago, is not remotely analagous to the run around of "signing authorities" [that Democratic presidents have used, too].

    If he GENUINELY cares about the harm to national security and the lives of those gays who continue to be discharged, Murphy will join his 77 Congressional colleagues and call on the president to stop them until the law is repealed.

    Posted by: Gomer Pyle | Jul 9, 2009 2:23:15 PM

  12. I hope Patrick Murphy will have a talk with Peter King.

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 9, 2009 3:03:36 PM

  13. I believe the Congressman said that if Obama just stopped the law, he would be mimicking the egregious behavior of former President Bush by ignoring the authority of the Legislative Branch.

    We hated Bush's signing statements. I hope that hatred stemmed from his overstepping his authority and not because he overstepped it in a way we didn't like.

    Kudos to Congress and this honorable Congressman in their efforts. They put it on; they should take it off. Given the Democratic majority, it's a no-brainer it should pass.

    Posted by: Mitch | Jul 9, 2009 6:32:42 PM

  14. I saw Rep. Murphy on Rachel's show last night, and even though I'm not even close to living in his district, I donated to his re-election. I may have to live with being represented by a bigot in Congress for now, but the ones who stand with us deserve our support! If you have the money to spare, show Congressman Murphy some love so he knows that when he stands with us, we'll have his back.

    Posted by: MNT | Jul 9, 2009 8:19:27 PM

  15. "I believe the Congressman said that if Obama just stopped the law, he would be mimicking the egregious behavior of former President Bush by ignoring the authority of the Legislative Branch."

    Yes and that's why, in this, he's totally WRONG!


    If they no longer support it they can repeal THAT law but until then the President would be neither mimicking signing authorities NOR overstepping them.

    Posted by: Gomer Pyle | Jul 9, 2009 8:24:10 PM

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