White House Indicates it Has No Intention of Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ This Year


Q Let me get back to the question. So there was the heckling on Monday night, there's the veterans yesterday at the White House gates handcuffing themselves to the fence. All of these actions are aimed at getting repeal this year, something the White House has sort of declined to commit to since the State of the Union address. Has the White House misjudged the level of patience among LGBT and grassroots activists on this?

MR. GIBBS: No. Again, I would remind anybody on this issue — look, first of all, I will say this. Obviously the President made a commitment in the presidential campaign, and understands the passion that people hold the belief that all should be able to serve. The President holds that belief too.

But I would remind folks that wasn't a belief that the President held in 2007 — that's a belief that the President held in running for the Senate as far back as 2003.

The President has made and is committed to making this changed law. I don't think he's underestimated the — as you said, the patience of some. The President wants to see this law changed, just as you've heard the Chair of the Joint Chiefs and others in the military say that it's time for that change to happen. 

Q But he's committed to them letting the Pentagon work through its working group process until December 1st, is that true? He's committed to that?

MR. GIBBS: Yes. The President has set forward a process with the Joint — the Chair of the Joint Chiefs and with the Secretary of Defense to work through this issue.

Q Before any legislative action is taken — that rules out legislative action this year?

MR. GIBBS: Well, again — the House and the Senate are obviously a different branch of government. The President has a process and a proposal I think that he believes is the best way forward to seeing, again, the commitment that he's made for many years in trying to — changing that law.


  1. walter says

    well another lying politician shows his true colors. fierce advocate bollshit just more lies. remember this when when they want money and votes. democrats are no better the repuklicans. time for more independents.

  2. patrick nyc says

    I say we also review the issue of blacks serving with whites, and of inter-racial marriage. Lets turn it back and make Obama a bastard.

  3. Tim says

    “let me be clear, when I say this year, i wasn’t talking about this year I was talking about a future year when making hard stands would be easy”

  4. JeffRob says

    I’m sorry, but when did the White House indicate it DID intend to repeal DADT this year?

    Over and over, Obama and Gibbs say the President “wants the law repealed”, “will work with Congress”, etc. Never once did he say he would issue a stop-loss order, or an executive order, or a signing statement, or whatever. That never happened. The idea that he could or would do that came only from us- our hope, our vision of what a liberal President COULD do, if only they did exactly what we wanted.

    He never promised that. If he had, he would be lying now. Hell, from where I’m sitting, we’re fortunate that the White House still officially wants the repeal to happen. Politicians regularly do complete 180s on their campaign promises, and HE HAS NOT DONE THAT. HE NEVER PROMISED.

  5. Gridlock says

    Wants the law repealed THIS YEAR, will work with congress to have the law repealed THIS YEAR, JeffRob.

    Enjoy your koolaid.

  6. says

    Technically, what O said in the SOTU address was “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”

    So I guess it’s the “working with Congress and the military” that’s happening this year, rather than the actual repeal?

  7. yonkersconquers says

    You know what, JeffRob, it’s of little concern to me if Obama promised to lift the ban this year, next year or just moments before the Rapture.

    The White House has abandoned the “fierce urgency of now” and refused to show leadership on this issue. In waiting till after the elections they hope to kick it down the road and blame the GOP for an inevitable blockade.

    What the White House doesn’t understand is that we are in a new moment. The train has left the station. They either climb aboard or get left behind in 2012.

    I don’t give a shit if they think we’re their only chance. I won’t have my vote, my wallet or my life taken for granted.

  8. TANK says

    baboozled, hoodwinked, sold down the river, betrayed and deceived. Hey…next year it won’t be repealed, either. You see in politics there is always a “good” excuse to do nothing.

  9. rduke says

    F#ck Obama and the Democrats. Not another dime not another vote! I’m going third party and never looking back.

  10. walter says

    it is any wonder now why the white house worked so hard to keep the demonstrations from being covered by the press and the president attacked when being challenged on his stand. they questioners hit a raw nerve. where is the hrc? they still telling us they are working on it. isn’t it time for them to have another photo-op or cocktail party. obama better get ready to invite them back to the wh

  11. Brian in Texas says

    The President has already acted on DADT. He’s said numerous times (as recently as this week) that he is committed to repealing it, his chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mike Mullen, has said the law should be repealed. His defense secretary, Robert Gates, has initiated a review of the effect of DADT on military readiness. If the Congress sends Obama legislation that has repeal of DADT in it; he will sign it. But he’s not going to put the full weight of his presidency behind it until the review is completed. Let the process run its course. None of this would have happened had Obama not been elected in the first place. Mccain or Bush anyone??

  12. TANK says

    Oh brian, you’re so confused about how things work. The study is needless; there are many studies that show it has no effet on preparedness, and that repeal would not adversely impact servicemen and women…it is a glorified stalling tactic. This is now a shell game, and DICKS like you don’t need to be promoting it.

  13. Mark says

    I think they should have waited and done an extensive study on Civil Rights Law and integration of schools in the sixties.

  14. Samuel says

    Mixner’s right when he speaks of a chilling effect in voter turn out in the fall elections. I, for one, am over the great experimental democracy called “The United States of America” and won’t waste my time this fall.

    I think this was the last great chance to convince this generation that our government is worth participating in. It is becoming abundantly clear that we stumble in a drunken stupor toward Liberty where our neighbors routinely succeed to stroll in confidently.

    If the first African-American President proves ineffective in advancing civil equality, who will be? If not now, when? May as well strike Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday from national observance and let us commemorate Lenin or Hitler instead – for the sake of consistency. Have we learned nothing from history?

    Hope and change we can believe in? How can one have hope when we are literally fighting to convince our ‘advocates’ to advocate on our behalf, exhausting ourselves to provoke our ‘allies’ from their complacency to compassionate acts of justice? …and they seem annoyed when we are impatient with them as they casually piece together our lives and our futures like some rainy-day jigsaw puzzle on a card-table in their spare bedroom…”Someday it will all come together; you’ll see!”

    Barack Obama, ‘Yes, we can!’ = ‘Yes, we might have, but alas, when pressed, we didn’t!’

  15. Brian in Texas says

    And for those of you talking about donating and voting for third party candidates; please don’t waste your time and money. Our country has a two party political system and that will not change soon.

    Ralph Nader got 97,488 votes from Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election, as well as tens of thousands to other 3rd party candidates. You think Gore could have used those votes? Iraq war anyone? Of course we are free to vote for whom we please, but I think its against most people’s best interests and just a waste of time.

  16. Tone says

    What cowards, putting partisan issues before human rights. Obama has some cred left, but he’s spending it quickly. Shame shame shame on all of them.

  17. TANK says

    Third party or not at all! There’s no other way for an oppressed minority to voice discontent. None.

  18. Gridlock says

    I think it’s a waste of time and personal best interests to give money or vote for people who continually lie to you.

    Go ahead and keep voting for lies, Brian. I’m done with that. So are a lot of people.

    You, my friend, are still trapped by the 2 party dinosaur dogma, a little automaton bleating out pre-programmed establishment nonsense.


    It’s a game of chicken: If the Democrats do not give you a return on your investment, then you vote for someone else. Period.

    Stop giving away your vote for NOTHING.

  19. Larry says

    Every Obama promise comes with a expiration date.

    The guys a fucking liar, and the people who are defending him are his house slaves.

  20. says

    Hmmm, 2011? I fully expect the Dems won’t have a majority in either house after the midterms. The chance of this or even ENDA every getting passed if not done this year is nil.

    If nothing happens, I will stay home during the elections for the very first time since turning 18. This IS a civil rights issue, plain and simple. If they can’t be bothered due to political expedience, then why should I?

  21. says

    Since the wrongness of DADT has been apparent for many years now, it’s no wonder that we are frustrated by this so-called process to “study” the policy further. 2010, with its large Democratic majority, was the year for decisiveness. 2011 may be a whole new ball game, and, as was evidenced by the Democratic stalling on health care reform, endless processing serves no purpose other than giving Republicans the opportunity to fear monger and obstruct and call attention to the administration’s weaknesses.

    I actually believe the President is committed to repealing DADT, but the way he’s going about it–and the continuing slimy Gibbs evasiveness about the timing–does not instill confidence and reinforces the message that gay rights are not even close to being a priority. The energized base the Dems will need in Nov isn’t likely to include gay voters, and that doesn’t seem to bother them. Which only makes me give a thumbs-up to GetEQUAL tactics–we’ve a right to be pissed off and rude.

  22. NYSmike says

    If it’s this problematic for them to repeal DADT, just imagine all the other “gay” issues. I laugh when the kool-aid crowd believes Obama is a “fierce advocate”. It’s the same for women. When Ms. magazine did a cover of Obama saying this is what a feminist looks like. I laughed. Meanwhile Obama used women’s rights as a bargaining chip for his Romneycare Bill. His campaign was sexist beyond belief. You should have known by his inclusion of certain bigots at his inaugural. How’s that hopey changey workin’ for ya? I’ll wait.

  23. Chris says

    Obviously I’m disappointed DADT won’t get repealed this year, but I never expected it to, either. Like many post before me have said, Obama never promised to repeal it this year. And with the “study” taking about a year to complete, did anyone really think anything was going to happen before the study was over? Personally, I think he’s going about this the right way. In a year, he’ll have a high-profile study that will show that the military will be fine with gays and will spur consensus and add additional legitimacy to the repeal of DADT.

  24. Gridlock says

    There are already 20 fucking high profile studies that have been completed since the damn mid 90’s, all saying the same thing.

    What is the purpose of another?

    Delaying tactic. That’s it. Period.

  25. Gridlock says

    and in a year, the Dems will have lost 1 or both houses and there’s no way there will be any “bipartisanship” on this issue from the Rethugs.. SO HOW IS ANYTHING GAY RELATED GOING TO PASS

  26. Happily Married says

    @Samuel: you said “Hope and change we can believe in? How can one have hope when we are literally fighting to convince our ‘advocates’ to advocate on our behalf, exhausting ourselves to provoke our ‘allies’ from their complacency to compassionate acts of justice? …and they seem annoyed when we are impatient with them as they casually piece together our lives and our futures like some rainy-day jigsaw puzzle on a card-table in their spare bedroom…”Someday it will all come together; you’ll see!”

    Barack Obama, ‘Yes, we can!’ = ‘Yes, we might have, but alas, when pressed, we didn’t!’

    I totally agree and that was brilliantly put.
    Thanks for writing that!

  27. BobN says

    “it is a glorified stalling tactic”

    You’re right. It is a stalling tactic. I gives a lot of people who OPPOSE repeal a long time to reverse themselves and not appear to be craven. A study by the U.S. military that comes to the same conclusion as all the other outside studies of the past two decades gives political cover to MODERATE REPUBLICANS (rare as they may be) to join Democrats and make the repeal a bipartisan vote.

    Do you want it to be a party line vote? Do you want the Congress to repeal the repeal next time the GOP is in charge? I don’t.

  28. says

    @Kevin: You’re absolutely correct. That’s exactly what he said. But let’s put that aside for now and get back to it later because most of these people are not interested in facts.

    Okay. So he’s possibly not going to repeal DADT this year—although nothing in that video confirms anything of the sort. Robert Gibbs is avoiding responding with a direct answer.


    More than likely and call me crazy–Gibbs is avoiding responding with a direct answer.

    It seems to me the president prefers to work within the timetables he’s outlined for himself. The fact that there are others who have decided what he should do and when he should do it has absolutely no relationship whatsoever with the presidents objectives and what he’s publicly stated in regards to the repeal of DADT. He’s yet to contradict himself on the matter at all. So far, this is all he’s said:

    “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”

    I don’t see anything in that statement that indicates what year that will be. And if I do say so myself it was smart of him to make a statement saying he was going to repeal DADT WITHOUT saying what year that would occur.

    That would’ve been plain stupid. So what people are left with is the fact this notion of DADT being repealed on any specific date is a creation of their own imaginings.

    The man never once said DADT was going to be repealed in 2010.

  29. Name: says

    We’re more than just roadkill, we’re roadkill that has disintegrated into the road from being run over and over and over again

  30. Gridlock says

    I love all the apologists. You’ll parse yourselves right out of existence if you keep up the pretzel act, trying to justify all the bullshit.

    It’s amazing how far people will delude themselves.

  31. TANK says

    “I gives a lot of people who OPPOSE repeal a long time to reverse themselves and not appear to be craven”

    Don’t stop believin’…delusional obot. I mean, it worked out so well for mccain when Admiral mullen came out against it. But keep casting spells and muttering incoherently.

  32. TANK says

    “Do you want it to be a party line vote? Do you want the Congress to repeal the repeal next time the GOP is in charge? I don’t.”

    And this is just madness. Yeah, I don’t want it to be party line vote. Yeah, I don’t care if it’s not, either. I want to be a vote that passes…and I don’t give a fuck which party or both pass it…but I can tell you right now it’s pretty much gonna be party line vote no matter what.

    And the scare tactic at the end is lunacy. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to reverse antidiscrimination legislation? Any idea whatsoever? Do you know the trends? Very hard, obot. It would be like reversing the civil rights act.

  33. Gridlock says

    Hey, I hear there’s going to be single payer or a public option healthcare “reform” too.

    We just have to clap our hands and believe hard enough

  34. says

    So Obama didn’t say he would repeal DADT this year? He said he would “work with congress to repeal DADT” this year? Well even that’s a lie. He is sending messages to staffers on Capitol Hill discouraging members from taking up the issue as Sen Udall and others have been pushing for this week. They are indicating that they will not support their efforts, and actually campaigning for them to drop the issue. That would be working AGAINST repealing DADT this year. So how is he not a cowardly liar again?

  35. major707 says

    Remember Clinton’s promise to over turn the ban on gays in the military? And guess who killed that plan and gave us DADT? The Democrats, Sam Nunn was their leader. The Democrats have been smiling and extending their hand for our money/support then stabbing us in the back with the other.
    These are great letters posted here, but only the choir is seeing them. Copy your post and deposit them on the White House contact us page. Then send them to your Reps and Senators. If they still refuse to take us serious, sit this next election out.

  36. FunMe says

    The FREAKING study was done in 1993 by the Rand Corporation already! We don’t need a another stinking study that will simply say the same: gays are fine in the military.

    These are all delay tactics and excuses.

    I for one will not be a RIHANNA of the Democratic Party and continue to support them when they continue to throw the finger at us.

    The days of voting for a politician just because he/she has “D” are OVAH!

    Show results now, or else come November 2010 there will be a political price to pay.



    “Until the Democratic Congress passes, and President Obama signs, legislation enacting ENDA, repealing DADT, and repealing DOMA, we ask you to join us in pledging to postpone contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, and the Obama campaign.”

  37. Rodney says

    I really think it could be done this year. After the November elections, our legislators (especially the ones that lost their re-election bid) will be much more apt to do the right thing. They wouldn’t really (or at all) need to worry about what their constituents think of it.

  38. John says

    The State of the Union in January was for the 2010 session of Congress. If President Obama wanted to repeal DADT in 2011, then he should have waited for the 2011 state opening of the legislature to talk about it. At the very least, I think he sent mixed messages with that speech.

    Since Speaker Pelosi ruled out a vote on DADT way back in the Spring of 2009, however, I suppose Gay Inc. heard what they wanted to hear and decided to trust that the White House – or worse, Barney Frank – will push her along.

    Big mistake…

  39. Chris says

    I say we also review the issue of blacks serving with whites, and of inter-racial marriage. Lets turn it back and make Obama a bastard.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Apr 21, 2010 6:47:37 PM

    WOW…Patrick for all this from you with “I had a Black boyfriend and my brother was killed by a Black person” I’m sure you probably never dated another Black person since have you?
    What about Asians,Latino,and Amer Indians do you include them with white people…..Seriously!?!

    Everytime some of you get mad about this D.A.D.T it always have to be well take this from Blacks, Lets do this to Blacks.

    It only really shows how you really feel about Blacks. Motherfuckers might as well join the damn Tea Party crowd. We all know from this community their choices for Pres were.

    1.Hillary Clinton
    2.John Edwards
    and then after you felt you had no choice
    3.Barack Obama

    A DAMN SHAME!I don’t like these mixed signals coming from The White House as well. But with misleading headlines knowing it’s going to bring out the trollery on here is pathetic.

    I hope they do lift it because I really want to see how many of you girls will give up your FABULOUSLY gay lifestyle to go into The Military especially when we’re now at war.


    All this he’s lost my vote…whatever he lost your vote in Nov so please girls save it vote 3rd party which will never see The White House, or Republican and be done with it

  40. JT says

    Chris : I think you might have missed PatrickNYC’s point, as well as the general point of removing DADT.

  41. Chris says

    No JT understand me…I’m tired of when the kids feels they’re being slighted by Obama everything has to be well what if we did this to Blacks. Why only Blacks????

    Cut that Bullshit……You’re only stating what you really feel and I get offended.

  42. MrRoboto says

    Derek – As you so eloquently quoted him, President Obama said “THIS year…”

    In case you’re unfamiliar with the definition of the word “THIS,” Oxford English Dictionary defines it as an adj. “Used in concord with a n., to indicate a thing or person present or near.” And, hence, THIS year = THIS year. Not NEXT year, or sometime during this administration.

  43. JT says

    Chris : Granted, I don’t know about PatrickNYC’s posts on other topics, but I thought I knew (rightly or wrongly) what he meant with the DADT comparison. (And the importance of ending any ban on gays in the U.S. military certainly goes far beyond any gays on this blog actually wanting to sign up. I’m sure you really do know that).

  44. Bill Perdue says

    Derek – wake up and smell the betrayal.

    Obama doesn’t deserve getting the benefit of the doubt. He’s been in office too long and it’s clear that he’s our enemy. Only the occasional turncoat Clintonista still gives Clinton a pass for DOMA and DADT. Only the occasional Log Cabin deserter gives Bush and Rove a pass for their campaign to use state DOMAs as wedge issues. People are not noticeably soft on McCain, Pelosi, Palin and certainly not uncritical of Quislings like Barney Frank.

    So why give Obama a pass?

    He won the election appealing to homohating christians. GLBT folks and getting angrier as Obama gets worse and worse. In fact we need another massive anti-Obama rally like the March on Washington. Obama and the Democrats are in bed with theocrats and the DNC is positively infested with them. So is the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    We’re not alone. Obama is in the process of betraying most of the constituents who screwed up and helped elect him.

    He angered trade unionists by busting the UAW, the jewel in the crown of US labor.

    Environmentalists are pissed because his record is abysmal and he just authorized more offshore drilling.

    Immigrant and imported workers held their own mass march of over 200,000 in DC on March 21, 2010 in part because of Obama’s racist and medically dangerous policy of denying them health care.

    Women are angry because Obama’s health care scam denies them the right to federal funding for a necessary medical procedure – abortion.

    Health care advocates are disgusted that Obama is a total lap dog of the insurance industry, Big Pharma and HMOs.

    Obama, with the bipartisan support of Congress, made draconian cuts in social services while giving trillions in bailouts to the obscenely greedy looter class.

    The wars against Palestine and Pakistan and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan continue without letup and causalities are mounting. His administration is overseeing then the death and maiming of new waves of GIs and civilians from Palestine to Pakistan.

    A Republican is a rancid right centrist with a theocrat attached at the hip. A Democrat is a Republican in drag.

    With Democrats like this who needs Republicans?

    The looter rich much prefer working with Democrats like Obama and the Clintons – they’re greedier, they fool more people and they’re able to get away with a lot more than Republicans.

  45. Chris says

    JT, All I am saying is this the comparisons are old and it’s time to be a little more productive on our part than comparing Blacks to Gays.

    Okay sure President Obama can put a stop order on it like Miss Bedwell and the rest the trollistas say. Only for the kids give him their ass to kiss and STILL WILL NOT vote for him. And a Republican to win the office and restore D.A.D.T. back

    OK so what did a stop loss really do…JACK SHIT! If President Obama gave us everything.These folks still wouldn’t vote for him,. Fierce advocate or not. You’re still directing your anger at the wrong person.

    He could go to Congress right now and say Lets VOTE I want this repealed and guess what he’s on our side but Congress probably won’t be then we would all know the deal. And even though he supports repealing it because the congress didn’t you all would still blame Obama

    Give me a fucking break! He could say all day that he supports this and that but if Congress says otherwise.

    Then guess what???? GAME OVER! Hillary included!

  46. says

    Chris, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Sen. Udall has said that he is withing a few votes of passing repeal of DADT out of committee. Those are Democratic votes he’s talking about. If the administration could twist arms to get health care passed, they certainly could to get something much less controversial like repeal of DADT out of a committee. But he refuses. In fact he is using his power to dissuade members from voting for it. Obama himself is our biggest obstacle at this point. What compounds are anger is that he promised to work to repeal DADT this year, not oppose it. He lied to us and now doesn’t have the balls to own it. Fierce advocate my ass. He’s a liar plain and simple. And he’s counting on simpletons like you to spread his lies for him from within our own community. It is pathetic and shameful. You need to wake the hell up.

  47. rduke says

    Obama apologists are sickening. Obama is a liar and a back-stabber. The gay community has been screwed over for decades by the Democratic Party. We are used as an ATM and our civil rights go nowhere.

    My vote and my money are going elsewhere. Game over.

  48. Nick says

    Bill Perdue is 100 percent accurate-
    BHO is not and never has been and never will be a friend to progressives and the LGBT community. He is a liar and a poser.
    His theocratic leanings are subtle but strong and trump any notion that he will
    fight for human dignity and human rights.
    He not only worships the fictional character in the sky-but more importantly-he worships at the foot of Wall Street and the looting class.

  49. walter says

    everyone misses a very important point when obama wanted healthcare passed he went to the mat for it. he twisted arms, he threatened, went to the people, made speeches. do you see this kind of effort towards gay issues. he sort of tags along with congress

  50. Chuy says

    Just like the gays to be so fucking dramatic. They are going to repeal it … NEXT ISSUE PLEASE …

  51. rafi says

    I don’t get it — if there are that many senators and representatives annoyed that the White House isn’t moving on this, why don’t they just write a bill? They don’t need Obama’s blessing to write laws, that’s their job anyway. It’s not like he’d veto it.

  52. Chris says

    Gay Lib,

    You sick rabid Faggot if Obama isn’t needed then shut the fuck up and let congress vote NOW…and lets see.