Durbin: Senate Too Busy for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, and Kennedy’s Dead

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said the Senate's too busy right now to bother with gays in the military, according to Politico:

Durbin “We have a very heavy, busy agenda and a few months left to do it. So it may not be now, but that
doesn’t mean it won’t be soon.”

And Ted Kennedy's gone:

"As he was battling brain cancer, Kennedy was absent from the Senate for nearly the entire year until his death. 'Sen. Kennedy is the lead sponsor of the bill; obviously with his illness, those issues , any number of issues that he was the leader of are complicated by his absence,' David Scott, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbies for gay rights.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, whose main goal is to end the policy, said that Kennedy’s illnesses 'accounted for some of the delay in the introduction' of the bill, but said they were continuing to talk with other Democratic senators and hoped to have a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate in the fall.

About 18 months ago, Kennedy told Sarvis’ group and gay-rights activists that he wanted to be the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal the current law — but first he wanted to get some Republican support. 'He felt very strongly about it being bipartisan,' Sarvis said.

Kennedy never ended up introducing a bill this Congress, and now it’ll be up to another Senate Democrat to step up to push the controversial issue."


  1. Anonymous says

    Fed up with the Dems on this! The gAyTM has to be closed until we see some action. My congressman called me up recently asking for a donation — I told him so.. and he indicated that all his gay constituents were telling him the same thing. I think this is the only way to get their attention.

  2. Martin says

    The agenda is as busy as you make it. And the issues you prefer to be in the agenda.

    “I am too busy…” is not acceptable for the “right” issues and acceptable for the issues I consider not worth it.

    What are the thousands of staffers, employees in DC doing all day? All trying to fix health care and the economy?
    Wasn’t CHANGE also the promise how DC would work in the future? Excluding members of the House…

    People are getting bored and turned off…

  3. Ted B. says

    Hear that “tooting” to your Left?
    It’s the speeding DNC bus about to roll over the G/L community.

    Let’s see; no action on Adoption, Civil Unions, DoMA, ENDA nor DADT. Remind me again why the G/L community blindly supports the Democrats?

  4. Disgusted American says

    This is out of control..seriously. It’s a shame EVERY Gay/Lesbian soldier CAN’T come out all at once…what arethey gonna do- fire’m all? Doubt it!!! What a eff’ing disgrace – this is turning into……yes,yes,UI know it’s ONLY 8months into Obama’s 1st term..but WTF!

  5. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    “says the Senate is swamped…little appetite … when election forecasters are signaling a tough 2010 election cycle for the party.”

    TRANSLATION: not this year…not NEXT year…not…!

    “…Webb wouldn’t say what his views are on the policy … Lincoln declined to give her views on don’t ask, don’t tell….need to have the uniform MILITARY speak about this issue …. hearing what THE PENTAGON has to say …. has to be in consultation with the PENTAGON ….need to be DRIVEN BY THE MILITARY …. DEFERRING TO THE MILITARY ….the Pentagon is conducting an internal REVIEW of the policy…. take into consideration the arguments, FEELINGS [of the MILITARY]….best MILITARY advice based on facts and NOT EMOTION.”

    TRANSLATION: whatever they’re saying publicly the top dinosaurs in the Pentagon’s Jurassic Park are fighting repeal fang and claw!!!


    TRANSLATION: we have to put back the fear of losing gay money so deeply that THIS time we get something other than a White House Tea Party for the A-Gays!!!!

    “President Obama, appear to have absorbed an unfortunate—and incorrect—lesson from the Democrats’ alienation from the military since Vietnam: that to earn the trust of the brass, the president must plead with the uniforms for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, Dems must win over the military; no, that is not done by having the president ask permission to act like Commander-in-Chief; it’s done by showing the world that the president knows how to lead. Sometimes moral and political leadership really are one and the same. Ending the needless firing of gay troops is one of those times.” – Nathaniel Frank, Palm Center, author of “Unfriendly Fire.”

  6. John says

    Cue the clueless Democratic “operatives” in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….

    “This stumbling about like a headless chicken is all part of the Dear Leader’s super secret plan”

  7. says

    This idiot is talking sideways out of his ass. Don’t listen to him.

    What a regressive tool. I am a hardcore Democrat, but, when one of my own is so without fight , I have to say, bring on a challenger in his next race and let’s get rid of him.

  8. Chitown Kev says

    This is SO embarrassing. This is MY Senator (and a damn good one as regards LGBT issues) but Dick Durbin is so full of shit on this one.

    Although, I blame this a little less on Durbin and a hell-uva lot more on the Mormon Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; he’s been blocking everything in the Senate. Pelosi is moving a bit slow, but at least she’s been moving.

  9. says

    Hey CHI! Don’t knock my local guy! J/K, Harry is actually pretty ok with the Gays, he never tells his people to throw me to the ground when he sees me coming and he knows the first words out of my mouth are always “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. He is working on it. I introduced him to Lt. Dan Choi last week and while I won’t go into here, he is really not happy with DADT and is working on it. I honestly don’t think anyone is for the policy in Washington, at this point it’s all dealing with the idiot repugs. They know they’ve lost Health Care and really need new meat, so, hang in there and do know that the pressure is not being let up. I want it gone NOW as well, yet, I’m starting to get the game plan as I get more involved in politics.

    Man I wish I could just go back to West Covina and not care again, but, I guess those days are over. Congrats to all you guys. Whether I agree with you or not, at least you all care enough to have an opinion.

    Thanks Andy for getting us info in a fun way!

  10. says

    Sadly, there have been signs for some time that the legislative process is badly stalled. The only way for gays to serve openly and legally in the forseeable future is for the President to sign an executive order. Those who prefer to wait for Congress should not start planning for a victory celebration any time soon.

    The Palm Center released a report earlier this year discussing the implications of an executive order to end DADT. Check it out here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/mhugx8

    Amanda Phillips
    Palm Center Digital Media Specialist

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