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process in lifting its ban on gays from serving openly in the military.A special investigation into how the ban can be repealed without hurting the morale or readiness of the troops was expected to be announced Tuesday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm.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. 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?

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 30, 2010 3:57:05 PM

  2. 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.

    Posted by: Ninong | Jan 30, 2010 4:11:48 PM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: bgoldmund | Jan 30, 2010 6:04:32 PM

  4. 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.

    Posted by: Dickster | Jan 30, 2010 6:33:56 PM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: X | Jan 30, 2010 7:57:40 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: Marc | Jan 30, 2010 11:37:38 PM

  7. 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.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 31, 2010 3:17:13 AM

  8. 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.

    Posted by: Marshall N Brown | Jan 31, 2010 5:11:55 AM

  9. 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

    Posted by: Ravewulf | Jan 31, 2010 11:45:51 AM

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