Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News | Robert Gates

Defense Dept: 'Several Year Process' to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Say what?

2_dadt A new AP article on the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal suggests it won't be complete until at least 2012:

"The Defense Department starts the clock next week on what is expected to be a several-year process in lifting its ban on gays from serving openly in the military.A special investigation into how the ban can be repealed without hurting the morale or readiness of the troops was expected to be announced Tuesday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While the review is likely to take the better part of this year to complete, and even more time to implement, its initiation will advance President Barack Obama's goal of repealing the ban and bring a divisive issue for the military back to the fore."

And these are the topics that will be up for discussion over those two years:

"The review to be announced next week was expected to delve into practical issues that surround changing the law: Can a soldier be forced to room with someone who is openly gay if they are the same sex? Would the military recognize civil unions and how much would it cost to extend benefits to a service member's partner? Would quotas be imposed to ensure openly gay service members aren't passed over for promotions?"

So more discussion of military showers and barracks, and segregation, and sexual predation, completely ignoring the fact that there are thousands of gay and lesbian military servicemembers already serving in the military, and multiple studies already completed on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.

Obama is scheduled to speak with Gates and Mullen this week, according to the paper.

If the plan is truly to draw this out over a number of years, then Obama should sign (and we should demand he sign) an executive order immediately putting a moratorium on gay expulsions while this debate is undertaken.

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  1. "If the plan is truly to draw this out over a number of years, then Obama should sign (and we should demand he sign) an executive order immediately putting a moratorium on gay expulsions while this debate is undertaken."

    Oh yeah that's sure to happen.

    That clatter fo dishes you hear in the backgound is the HRC setting up yet another gala to reward Barry for taking us for granted and doing nothing.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 30, 2010 10:09:31 AM

  2. What a great way to string us along for even longer and still keep us placated and voting democat! Sheer genius! Those gays will be happy with any little crumb we throw them!

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 30, 2010 10:14:39 AM

  3. Um, couldn't they just ask the Brits and Israelis how they handle it? Probably would be a 5 min. conversation. Idiots.

    Posted by: Todd in NYC | Jan 30, 2010 10:19:16 AM

  4. Agreed.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jan 30, 2010 10:20:57 AM

  5. I don't get it. Gays are already and have been in the military. Most other free nations of the world have gays in the military. What adjustments have to be made?

    Take years? Bullshit.

    This repeal should take about five minutes. The commander-in-chief signs an order stating that being an out gay is no problem and that discharges for being gay are halted immediately.

    How difficult is this?

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 30, 2010 10:22:36 AM

  6. Let me guess ... it will expire the day after election day 2012. That should give everyone enough cover.

    Posted by: Mike Triggs | Jan 30, 2010 10:23:25 AM

  7. These military leaders are a bunch of silly little girls! (With my apologies to little girls everywhere for the comparison).

    As others have said (time and again), GAYS AND LESBIANS ARE ALREADY SERVING! Just stop the expulsions, reinstate those forced out and call it a day. They’re acting like they have to reinvent the wheel (Separate quarters? Really? Try those “objections” because you don’t want to room with an African American and see where that gets you) when all they have to do is admit the obvious truth --WE’RE ALREADY THERE and have been since some fool threw the first rock.

    Ah well, unfortunately there are still many on this planet that have great difficulty with seeing the obvious...

    Posted by: ichabod | Jan 30, 2010 10:37:50 AM

  8. Again - why do we have to discuss equal rights? If we believe in the principle, then why drag this out?

    Obama, it's called an Executive Order. Just do it.

    Posted by: steve | Jan 30, 2010 10:51:28 AM

  9. The way the article is written itself is a HUGE part of the problem. I've often complained what HACKS Associated Press writers are and this is perfect example.

    The author simply repeats, without any qualifiers, OPINIONS by SOME members of the military [read: homohating propaganda from Pentagon dinosaurs] to justify raising these so-called "practical ISSUES" as if they were FACT that EVERYONE agrees with when few things could be farther from the TRUTH:

    She's irresponsibly taken their position that there will be major "problems" with gay integration if the Neaderthals don't first come up with a "remedy."

    "how the ban can be repealed without hurting the morale or readiness of the troops" .... "while the forces are stretched thin at a time of two wars."

    There is NO EVIDENCE now...just as there was little in 1993...that there would be any MEASURABLE conflict that justifies her article, these discussions, or another SINGLE DAY of delay of Obama refusing to use the power given him BY CONGRESS to override ANY law to immediately stop the discharge of ANYone in times of "national emergency" which we are in now by Executive decree.

    If anyone knows how to write the AP author directly, please post here and I will be happy to remind her to save such STEAMING HORSESHIT for the editorial page of the Antigay Industry publication of her choice.

    AND shoot down her [read homohaters'] phony "ISSUES":

    "forced to room with"?

    No less than they can refuse to room with a different race, religion, or political belief. The INSULTING, RETARDED implication is gay servicemembers will rape them at least with their eyes if not literally.

    "recognize civil unions/cost"?

    YES, as soon as Tammy Baldwin's "Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act" for federal employees is passed, in the some state and local governments already do, more than half of Fortune 500 corporations, and, overall, more than 8,000 private-sector companies. "Cost" is not something the Constitution refers to in guaranteeing equal rights.

    In the interim, the partners of gay servicemembers would just be thankful not to have to live hidden any longer, HOPING that if anything happens to the servicemember they love they'll even find out about it [currently listing a non-blood relative of the same gender as your emergency contact/insurance beneficiary is a red flag for investigation as, HORRORS, gay].

    "Promotion quotas"? There ARE NO quotas now for promotions based on race, religion, gender, the "issue" is a MORONIC lavender herring! Further, discharged gay servicemembers have included some of the "best and the brightest," ironically sometimes even "poster" figures for recruitment such as MAJ. Margaret Witt whose picture was used to recruit other Air Force flight nurses but is in the courts now fighting her discharge.


    Posted by: Michael @ | Jan 30, 2010 11:42:04 AM

  10. Because Obama doesn't give a shit about the gays. He won't do a thing except give speeches.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Jan 30, 2010 11:43:22 AM

  11. Can't they just call up Canada and say, "Yo, Canada! How'd you handle that gay military thing, eh?"

    Problem solved.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Jan 30, 2010 11:49:02 AM

  12. Here 's the deal. The Military thinks that all the "Gays" are gonna sew pink feather boas on the hems of their military issued and paint their helmets in gold leaf as they are coming out of the closet.

    In reality, nothing would change. Soldiers will, most likely, stay somewhat closeted but the fear and threat of discharge will be gone. This nonsense "process" IS a stall tactic and everyone knows it.

    The "Gays" have been integrated into the Military and that is just the truth, plain and simple.

    Posted by: The Realist | Jan 30, 2010 11:52:05 AM

  13. Regarding the AP: I've noticed this tact for several years now on a multitude of issues, be it gay rights, global warming, medical marijuana, you name it. Basically, rhetoric and mis-information from those against is shown as fact when EVERYONE knows it is bullshit. It is the job of the press to report facts, but instead the press (now controlled by the multi-national corporations) has been recruited by and large as a political branch of the right wing to stir up the uneducated masses to get votes. The politicians are afraid of the potential right wing backlash so nothing happens. On this particular issue, they should just jettison DADT and be done with it. Let the right wing scream like infants, and eventually they'll shut up cause no one is listening. Dragging this out only serves the purpose of giving the right wing endless talking points. Recent case in point - health care. Frankly, the democrats are complete morons and are wasting the political opportunity they were given. The DADT arguments are nonsensical. Shower segregation? Gays are in the showers now. This is all about homophobia. Completely ridiculous. Marriage equality... anyone see the arguments in the trial... no wonder the pro 8 forces didn't want it televised - more nonsense. I am so ashamed, we are a nation of manipulated fools. We rant about how the Muslims in the middle east are controlled by religious fanaticism - a tool their governments use to keep the masses in check, a diversion tactic to keep them from questioning the real issues - we as a nation should take a look in the mirror.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 30, 2010 12:22:46 PM

  14. @ Realist:

    Good points but note that research of other countries and domestic police forces and fire departments that have lifted their bans shows that the majority of gays do NOT come out afterward.

    But, of course, the Pentagon dinosaurs being allowed to give their "guidance" to Congress can't be bothered to study ANY research or talk objectively to ANY of our many allies who've already proven "no problem" or, as the old saying goes, "Ya got a problem, Soldier? Take it to the chaplain. Now get the fuck back to work."

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jan 30, 2010 12:26:03 PM

  15. @Michael

    That is exactly my point. Nothing is going to change. I dare say no one will see a notable difference once the ban is lifted. The only change will be absence of fear and threat of expulsion.

    Posted by: The Realist | Jan 30, 2010 12:40:55 PM

  16. Well, if it is going to take that long, then Obama will no longer be president when it occurs, and maybe the inoming president will want to cancel the whole idea, so then back to square one.
    Dumb leading the dumber!

    Posted by: carter | Jan 30, 2010 1:05:00 PM

  17. Just as I suspected. Until the defense dept. is no longer run by bigoted evangelicals, this will not gain traction. Vote third party. It's the only way to voice meaningful dissent on gay rights.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 30, 2010 1:25:03 PM

  18. 'Can't they just call up Canada and say, "Yo, Canada! How'd you handle that gay military thing, eh?"

    Problem solved.'
    I am Canadian. In 1992, the Canadian Armed Forces ended discrimination against homosexuals at the stroke of a pen. Complete elimination. Lesbians and gays were free to serve in any branch of the forces they were qualified for including submarine crews, if you think the dinosaurs are paranoid about room assignments and showers try bringing up submarines.

    I asked a friend at the time who was a reserve officer in the forces and in command of his own ship, a training vessel if this would be a problem. He said no, women had been serving in all branches of the forces including combat for 10 years now. Policies on harassment had been carefully written with no gender specification and enforced. There were problems of course, we are dealing with people here, but the military functioned just as well as it had before. He figured the same would be true for gays and lesbians. He was right.

    My final point is this should be made retroactive to all expelled under DADT. Those still willing and able to serve should be reinstated at their original rank. All others who had been expelled should have their records cleared to show an honorable discharge with their benefits and those to their same sex partners the same as for hetero dischargees.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 30, 2010 1:30:11 PM

  19. Homophobia has no place in the debate to repeal DADT, it is precisely that, what we want to eradicate.

    When you think about it, DADT is a military social experiment. A study that has drawn strong, unequivocal conclusions. When John McCain states that DADT "works", he is validating the fact that gay men and women can function and serve alongside their straight counterparts. No need for separate showers, separate benefits or separate rules. The right thing to do is to hold us to the same standards as everybody else.

    Posted by: Rafael | Jan 30, 2010 1:31:51 PM

  20. Rafael, are you defending DADT? If you are, I think you need an education on its harmful effects. Perhaps acquaint with a book on it...reading isn't as bad as you might think it is. To hold us to the same standards as everyone else is to eradicate DADT. Simple as that.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 30, 2010 1:40:47 PM

  21. @ Chris:

    One can be angry at Obama for waiting so long [and I am] but he clearly stated in November of 2007 that:

    "I will direct my Secretaries of
    Defense and Homeland Security to develop procedures for taking re-accession requests from those qualified service members who were separated from the armed forces under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and still want to serve their country."

    So in all this Pentagon posturing over the last year that they "understand what Obama wants" there should be no question about that, and he's to be applauded for it.

    Some in MSM are again showing that they don't bother to do any research before writing, but I expect this to be the issue most quickly resolved positively because if they're willing to let current out gays serve there's no more reason not to let wrongly discharged gay vets reenlist than to enlist out gays for the first time. It's just a matter of "manpower" needs and they DO need us!

    I've lost count of the number of discharged servicemembers who have said they'd eagerly go back in, including Alex Nicholson of Servicemembers United, Dan Choi [tho, techically, he's still in], and even former Navy Top Gun Trace Thorne-Begland [who was discharged TWICE] despite the fact that he's too old now to be a pilot again.

    And another upside of repeal that speaks directly to both the benefits to national security and the business case against DADT too rarely talked about are the thousands of unidentified gays who would stay rather than choose not to reenlist as an estimated 4500 do every year...nearly seven times the number of identified gays discharged each year.

    As for discharge characterizations, though there are still some rare instances of it, it's a myth that every gay discharged gets a "Dishonorable" discharge. That change predates DADT. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as being caught boomshakalacking in the barracks or with a subordinate, a lower characterization is likely to be it would be for a nongay servicemember.

    There have been reports of homophobic commanders trying to trick people who've done nothing wrong but "be gay" into accepting a "General" discharge....which would, e.g., prevent them from getting GI Bill benefits, but that's not the policy.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jan 30, 2010 1:43:32 PM

  22. @TANK


    Posted by: Rafael | Jan 30, 2010 2:05:18 PM

  23. several years huh? just in time for our bigoted, homophobic president to tell us that he can't act right before he has to run for re-election, yet again promising us the moon and the stars if we just help him to get reelected. Obama is a liar, and any gay person with half a brain cell left should know better than to believe a word he says, much less support his bigoted administration.

    Posted by: gaylib | Jan 30, 2010 2:29:58 PM

  24. As much as I defend Obama...

    If this is true, i'll be fucking pissed. Hopefully it isn't.

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Jan 30, 2010 2:49:50 PM

  25. Okay, a pig just flew by my window and Hell must be freezing over...I agree with what Michael said!!! ;-)

    @Aaron: Me 2 and that will be a real problem for my party if people like us finally are over it.

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Jan 30, 2010 3:18:26 PM

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