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openly in the military.A special investigation into how the ban can be repealed without hurting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.


  1. says

    “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.

  2. Rich says

    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!

  3. Todd in NYC says

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

  4. Brian says

    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?

  5. Mike Triggs says

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

  6. ichabod says

    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…

  7. steve says

    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.

  8. says

    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, age…so 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.


  9. David in Houston says

    Can’t they just call up Canada and say, “Yo, Canada! How’d you handle that gay military thing, eh?”

    Problem solved.

  10. says

    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.

  11. Mike says

    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.

  12. says

    @ 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.”

  13. says


    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.

  14. carter says

    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!

  15. TANK says

    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.

  16. Chris says

    ‘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.

  17. Rafael says

    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.

  18. TANK says

    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.

  19. says

    @ 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 recommended…as 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.

  20. says

    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.

  21. says

    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.

  22. Sam says

    So just curious…IF the ban on gays is lifted, is the military then free to ASK if a serviceman/woman is gay? And if they say they aren’t and are later found out to be lying, can they be discharged for lying?

  23. Ninong says

    The Administration has no intention of doing anything substantive on FOCA, ENDA, DOMA or DADT in the next three years. They’re about to lose 25-30 seats in the House and 4-5 seats in the Senate this November. They’re running scared. They won’t touch any of these issues.

  24. bgoldmund says

    I guess Obama should be grateful that Lincoln did not send the emacipation proclamation ending slavery to the congress to discuss and then 5 years to implement to see if whites could actually live with black people. separate showers? separate but equal facilities? get a grip. this is a political hot potato and i don’t believe it will be resolved during this president’s tenure unless he issues an executive order and i don’t believe he is enough of a “fierce advocate” for gay rights to do that. nice talk, but talk is not action.

  25. Dickster says

    Exactly. The Canadian Forces just did it. Instantly. And it doesn’t seem to pose a problem for the American troops integrated with the Canadian (or British, or Dutch . . .) services in various theatres worldwide.

    BTW, there hasn’t been an issue with queer integration in the Canadian Forces, but then again, its been 18 years since we welcomed queers into the regiments.

  26. says

    So frustrating. It makes me want to become Canadian, where at least there you can keep your job, military or otherwise, without worrying about talking about your gay, legally wedded husband out loud.

    I really am dumbfounded why Americans continue to fear and put down gays so much. On this particular issue, why can’t they just say “end of DADT” with one declaration, and that’s that? So stupid. America is so not American.

  27. Marc says

    It always strikes me as odd how people always seem to think the grass is greener on the other side, as the cliche goes. But a closer look at history in some of the countries being touted here as paragons of virtues of GLBs (no Ts, to my knowledge) in their military have gone through the same battles we have and their policies didn’t “just end,” like some on this site seem to think.

    For example, in 1991/92 Canada’s military was forced to change its policy after a series of court cases where Canadian courts challenged the legality of Canada’s discriminatory policy, which had been in place since the 1960s. According to one study, gays and lesbians were routinely kicked out of the military in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

    Britain abolished its anti-GLBT policy in 1999, which had been in place for decades, but only after the European Court of Human Rights held the policy illegal. It still took several months before the British military implemented a new policy. (Obviously I don’t buy the Pentagon’s non-sense that it will or should take several years to implement a new policy.) But it will take months for a military nearly three times the size of Britain’s to implement all phases of a change. (It took several months for the military to do the same after Truman integrated the military.)

    Israel’s policy permitted the expulsion of gays and lesbians until 1983. Then they adopted a policy similar to the U.S.’s regarding women–they could serve, but not in top secret or intelligence positions. Since serving in these posts often were the surest way to high ranks like general or admiral, they still discriminated against us. This modified policy was in place for another 10 years. To their credit, however, Israel is one of the few countries to change their policy without a court-imposed order to do so.

    Now, granted, we can say that at least these countries did eventually change their policies. But let’s not forget how hard it was for them too.

    Obama should issue a stop-loss order until the Pentagon’s new policy is fully implemented. He should also ask Congress to repeal the law. And then direct the military to have the changes done within 18 months. If they can move heaven and earth to get our troops in and out of Afghanistan, and train their troops to take over their own country’s security, then surely they can implement the constitutional rights of their very own citizens. In fact, he should challenge them to get it done sooner.

  28. Steve says

    DADT can be repealed this summer, if the Democrats in Congress decide to do it. Implementation is simple — just stop prosecuting people under that law.

    There already are gay people serving in every branch, every command, and every post. Most of them are known by the people they work with. No change is needed at the operational level.

    The “slow walk” is for political purposes. Obama doesn’t want to piss of the right-wing bigots, so he wants to delay this. But, he also doesn’t want to piss of the gays, so he wants to blame the delay on the military people. He should realize, we do not believe him any more. We KNOW that the delay and inaction is Obama’s choice.

    Apparently, Obama really wants a food fight in the fall, and he wants us to contribute to the Progressive party instead of the Democrats, this year.

  29. Marshall N Brown says

    I’m an honorably discharged gay vet (USAF 1971-74, Incirlik and Rhein-Main). All who also are should feel commpelled to write/email their Congresspeople and demanding an executive moratorium of D-A-D-T. I was closeted, but my GAYDAR was active and accurate. No one — NO ONE — ever had a problem socializing with me… drinking, hanging out, camping, skiing, getting stoned… any of it. An NCOIC my my last six months, no subordinate ever had a problem with me.

  30. Ravewulf says

    Yeah, anyone who saw this coming raise your hand.

    *Rolls eyes and raises hand with others*

    It doesn’t REALLY take that long. They just want to appease us by looking like they are doing something and they don’t incur further wrath from the right wingers. It’s all BS.

    In the mean time we should lobby further for an immediate Executive Order