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

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Planning Effort to Take a Year; Joint Chiefs to Announce End to Discharges of Soldiers Who are Outed

Well, here's a preview from the Washington Post of what we can expect today at the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' hearings:

Mullen "President Obama's top defense officials will tell the Senate on Tuesday that the military will no longer aggressively pursue disciplinary action against gay service members whose orientation is revealed against their will by third parties, sources say. ...But Gates and Mullen are also expected to tell senators that it could take years to integrate gay men and lesbians fully into the military, defense officials said. Two appointees will be named to oversee a group that will draw up plans for integrating the armed forces, according to sources familiar with the Pentagon's deliberations on the subject. The planning effort is expected to take up to a year."

So, basically it could be January 2011 before even the "planning effort" is finished.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) penned an op-ed in Politico. Here's part of it:

An army is not a democracy. It is a meritocracy, where advancement depends not on who you are, but on how well you do your job. The meritocratic nature of our military has made it a leader in civil rights. It can be again on this issue.

So there is little reason to continue this policy. But as we proceed, it is vital that we are sensitive to any complications of this policy shift. Change is always hard, especially when it involves social issues or personal beliefs. Lack of care as we proceed might spark opposition from those who could be open to change, and inflame the opposition of those already against it. And I would encourage those who favor change not to mistake deliberation for undue delay.

So, ENDA gone. DOMA repeal nowhere in sight... What are gays getting in 2010? Looks like nothing. Or wait, maybe a few crumbs.

It'll be interesting see if HRC puts out a press release following this announcement that praises the administration, or condemns it. Bets?

For now, they have sent out an action alert, asking people to email Congress.

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  1. At least they're finally doing something, eh?

    I do have to call bullsh!t on the "integration" taking years. We're already in the military, it just a matter of simple recognition and equality.

    I can speak from personal experience, that many younger people in the military don't care about sexuality; it's the older ones that view it as any sort of 'threat.'

    Posted by: Joshua | Feb 2, 2010 7:07:20 AM

  2. HRC will weigh the pros and cons and their bank account and then respond accordingly.

    To speak of integration while lesbians and gay members are already in the military
    indicates the level of understanding these neanderthals have.

    Progress-NOT SO MUCH

    Posted by: NIck | Feb 2, 2010 7:38:16 AM

  3. "But Gates and Mullen are also expected to tell senators that it could take years to integrate gay men and lesbians fully into the military, defense officials said."

    Sure it might take years, IF gays weren't already fully integrated into the military! It's almost unbelievable how deep in denial these "top defense officials" are.

    Posted by: sparks | Feb 2, 2010 7:48:37 AM

  4. This is just a smokescreen attempt by Obama that he knows full well is going to go nowhere but he hopes will look good to the gays and Progressives. But it's all talk no ACTION. The Dems and Obama use our equality and civil rights as a tool to garner votes just as much as the Republicans do. PATHETIC.

    Posted by: Wayne | Feb 2, 2010 7:55:04 AM

  5. Yup. They don't intend to do crap. Change I can no longer believe in and certainly a SOTU speech in which we are mentioned.. barely.. is hardly going to get my attention when Pres. Obama campaigned on a platform of equality for LGBT citizens and has not done ONE thing except give some more rights to federal employees and there is debate that those employees already had those rights.

    Actions not words will get my attention. And my vote in 2012.

    Posted by: Darren | Feb 2, 2010 8:08:48 AM

  6. >>Two appointees will be named to oversee a group that will draw up plans for integrating the armed forces<<

    I didn't realize they put the homos in separate barracks. GMAFB!

    Posted by: Keith | Feb 2, 2010 8:18:43 AM

  7. I have two overall responses to the snide remarks and comments about President Obama and his support for our community;

    1) The false idea that he hasn't done anything for the community (RE: his campaign promises). Let's see, The Matthew Shepard Act (which I remind you is an unprecedented protection of our minority), which is monumental for any President to take on was passed with his urgency and cabinet working to support it's movement through congress and the HIV travel ban is lifted Given that we've gotten more in terms of queer rights in the last two years than in the last two decades, I think the queens here need to lighten up. He's doing a fine job as it stands and I think anger is only going to push us further to the backburner.

    2) As far as timeliness is concerned, give the guy a break. He's coming into a recession worse than any President has seen in over 25 year. Not to mention we're still cleaning up the administration's wars before him and still opening up peace talks and borders to countries who, this time four years ago, wanted absolutely nothing to do with us.

    This man is a great leader, a great orator and a great advocate for queer rights and by not giving him your vote in the next election the only thing you're allowing to happen is letting a Republican, driven by the conservative agenda and companies like Halliburton to repeal our rights instead of steadily progressing them. Stop with your sense of entitlement; we're the last minority that's legally discriminated against and the fact that it's acknowledged and being talked about in this day in age, given the current circumstances of the world, is OK by me. If there were world peace and prosperity, I could understand the queeny bitchy mentality a lot of people have on here, but it's not, and I don't. So quickly people forget that Bush was elected with a platform to BAN gay marriage and how much Obama truly is a blessing to the LGBTQ and to a more progressive, more successful America.

    Be Patient, Be Kind and keep up writing with your lawmakers without alienating them to the point where they turn against our cause. It will happen, being negative to the one person that's actually done anything for us is only going to set the clock back months, if not years.

    Posted by: Nicholas | Feb 2, 2010 8:47:46 AM

  8. Couldn't agree with Nicholas more. We're one year into this administration, and queens are acting like he's Satan and forgetting the 8 years of crap we were under. Progress is often incremental, folks. I'm beginning to think the republicans were right when they said we libs all thought he was a magic negroe. He's not - now get out there, right letters, demand our rights, ACT UP!

    Posted by: Joe Mama | Feb 2, 2010 9:01:15 AM

  9. Obama couldn't lead his way out of a paper bag. He is a liar, a bigot and a coward. And the notion that not discharging soldiers because of heresay is some sort of gain for us is total BS. That's the way DADT is supposed to work anyway. So instead of ending the ban, they vow to adhere to it more closely. Thanks for nothing you liars. and you can go to hell Joe mama, I've been "out there" for over 20 years fighting against discrimination, and I'm not going to stop fighting now just because you and your friends at HRC have a crush on Obama. People like you are only standing in the way of our civil rights movement.

    Posted by: gaylib | Feb 2, 2010 9:18:59 AM

  10. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and relax. Having gays in the military is a big change, we need to tread carefully on matters such as living conditions, battlefield conditions, etc. The type and scope of this change is unprecedented in modern history - oh, I forgot, gays are ALREADY in the military. Kidding aside, this is total bullshit. This is simply an acknowledgement of the current conditions. They act as if the military will become one big gay pride parade. How sad and ridiculous. This should be a slam dunk.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 2, 2010 9:20:28 AM

  11. Well said Nicholas. If we are reactionary against Obama and democratic candidates in general we will just shoot ourselves in the foot... look at Scott Brown. They are halting the discharge of gays while they do this study so progress is being made. Keep pressure on politicians and work for it, no one is going to do it for you.

    Posted by: stevo | Feb 2, 2010 9:28:54 AM

  12. I feel like I was just hit over the head with one of those "Change We Can Believe In" signs from the campaign. You guys should send your resumes to David Axelrod.

    The thing is, I like most of the ideas that Obama's team espouses. That's why I voted for him. The frustrating part is the reality that we're seeing... that Obama and his administration are just as beholden to corporate special interests as the Republicans... they're just different corporations (usually). Any thought that Obama is some sort of golden child sent to save us from our fucked up government is astonishingly naive.

    Hate crimes legislation is a step forward for us, though (thank goodness) it doesn't directly affect the day to day lives of the majority of GLBT people. The HIV travel ban and the meager benefits offered to some government employees are nice gestures, but ultimately they'll be shown to be the window dressing that they are.

    The truly meaningful changes for us, at this point anyway, appear to be related to DOMA, DADT, GLBT immigration reform, and ENDA. Obama, in his haste to shoot his entire wad by pushing for a health care bill that will only result in a nominal reform of some corporate health insurance practices, has miscalculated badly, and has skirted all of the most meaningful issues for our community. This year-long study is perfect evidence. Does anyone out there really believe that there hasn't already been at least one year long study on DADT?

    I like Obama from a personal level. I like having a president who's not a drooling idiot, and who can string together a few words in English that make sense and don't immediately embarrass the hell out of me. But Obama's meager attention to the low-hanging fruit is just not nearly enough to make me vote for him again.

    Words are great. Now DO SOMETHING.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 2, 2010 9:40:15 AM

  13. And please don't tell me that Obama's plate is full. I'm so tired of hearing that excuse. Obama knew what he was getting into, and if his plate is full he should just go get a bigger fucking plate.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 2, 2010 9:43:24 AM

  14. Stevo - You need to read the statement again. THEY ARE NOT HALTING THE DISCHARGES OF GAY SOLDIERS. THEY FULL PLAN ON CONTINUING TO DO SO. They are just saying they will no longer use "third party" or statements from "jilted lovers" That is a TINY FRACTION of the cases prosecuted through DADT. This is P.R. crap. nothing more.

    Posted by: Wayne | Feb 2, 2010 10:00:48 AM

  15. Why don't the lot of you just come out and admit that you'll never be satisfied by anything positive that occurs in the course of this administration? DADT and DOMA could be repealed tomorrow and you'll press for something else. Because there's always something else to fight for. There's never a magical moment where you get everything you want.

    So why hurl vile invectives that do absolutely nothing? You don't win because you scream the loudest, you win because you make the right connections and carry the right argument with the right people.

    But by all means, vote Republican or vote for a fringe party. Or don't vote at all. Watch nothing happen for thirty years, until the people in their 20s now are in their 50s and the vast majority of the bigots are dead. Refuse the "few crumbs" over some rigid immovable ideology that looks to one leader to change everything in a country full of leaders, most of whom would never even go this far.

    Please, continue to shut off debate and scream and yell and see how far that gets you. At least you'll have the satisfaction of being another miserable ideologue.

    Posted by: Zach | Feb 2, 2010 10:24:44 AM

  16. $100 says HRC won't bother to tear themselves away from their bunting and their place settings long enough to even notice.

    Posted by: Please | Feb 2, 2010 10:39:40 AM

  17. I think progress has been made and more will me made. Of course, in a few years ahead we'll all take it for granted and will bitch against HRC or glaad about something else.

    Posted by: Felix | Feb 2, 2010 10:44:02 AM

  18. Nicholas has it right. Change is difficult and slow in America just as we have seen with the health care fiasco. It took generations of activism for blacks to gain legal rights and there is still a boatload of bigotry all over. Would I like to have things change more quickly? Absolutely. But Obama remains our best hope. With Republicans we would be fighting on defense, trying to keep gay marriage bans out of the constitution. At least there is a conversation going on opening doors rather than slamming them.

    Posted by: Brian from Tucson | Feb 2, 2010 11:11:41 AM

  19. Well said, Zach, well said.

    Posted by: Tyler | Feb 2, 2010 11:15:27 AM

  20. Zach you're right to a point. But when we start putting Obama on some sort of pedestal, calling him "our best hope", then we're not doing ourselves any favors. We don't need a savior. We need congressional representatives who are reasonable and sympathetic, and we need a president who will fight for the most meaningful pieces of civil rights legislation rather than avoid them altogether with some sort of meaningless rehash of an already-completed-several-times "study". Vile invective is never appropriate, though I can understand the frustration from which it comes. What we need instead is to maintain respect and communication while FIRMLY holding his feet to the fire. Just continuing to fork over our vote because he's better than the alternative simply hasn't been an effective strategy.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 2, 2010 11:29:33 AM

  21. Zach: "So why hurl vile invectives that do absolutely nothing? You don't win because you scream the loudest..."

    Then how do you explain the teabaggers and the fact that Dem pols all over the country are quaking in their boots and refusing to take progressive stands?

    Posted by: BoxerDad | Feb 2, 2010 11:38:27 AM

  22. You live in a democratic country....YOU WANT CHANGE FAST GO TO MEXICO, Haiti OR SOMEWHERE GREATFUL!

    change is happening but slow...I'm so tired of the old queens complaining over and over but they do nothing to help.

    Posted by: Bosie | Feb 2, 2010 11:41:41 AM

  23. Not happy.

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Feb 2, 2010 11:49:18 AM

  24. If you look at the countries around the world in which GLBT people are allowed to serve openly in the military, we in America are neanderthals on this issue. We get nothing but lip service on this issue from this administration ... "studying" it for another year conveniently puts any findings after the mid-term elections. I live in the Chicago area, and just came back from voting in the IL primary. If the candidate was a "friend of Barack" I voted for someone else.

    Posted by: GAB007 | Feb 2, 2010 12:29:45 PM

  25. As mealy-mouthed as the Obama/Democratic plan might be, McCain is absolutely embarrassing himself today in the DADT hearing. I wonder if all those gay people who voted for him are feeling any shame.

    Posted by: jersey | Feb 2, 2010 12:43:02 PM

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