Don't Ask, Don't Tell | GetEQUAL | Military | Nancy Pelosi | News

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Pelosi Plans Vote, Sarvis Strategizes, GetEqual Gives a Warning

DC Agenda gets this optimistic piece of news:

Pelosi  "U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to hold a vote this year in her chamber of Congress for 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' repeal, according to her office. 'It is the Speaker’s intention that a vote will be taken this year on ['Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] in the House,” Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesperson, told DC Agenda in a statement Monday. The announcement is promising news for repeal advocates because Pelosi has yet to put legislation to the floor that hasn’t had sufficient support for passage. Michael Cole, a Human Rights Campaign spokesperson, praised Pelosi for planning the vote. 'As we’ve been saying for a long time now, the time to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is this year, and it’s a positive sign to hear congressional leaders affirm that,' Cole said."

Said SLDN's Aubrey Sarvis: “The hour for the president as well as for the leadership to become engaged is now. The reality is — particularly in the Senate Armed Services Committee — we are still short of some critical votes. We don’t have the votes today. We’re on the brink of getting them, and we need help from leadership on the Hill and from the president himself.”

As Politico notes, advocates are worried about the tightening timeline:  

Sarvis"Sarvis's group has begun to push a plan that would, he says, reconcile Obama's promise and his desire to wait for the results of a Pentagon working group's research into implementing repeal -- due, conveniently, after the elections. Sarvis's plan, which he hopes will be included in this year's defense appropriations bill, would establish a 180-day timeline for repeal, beginning with a deadline for the working group's report, followed by a 60-day deadline for the Secretary of Defense to issue instructions for implementing repeal and another 60-day deadline for the services to plan implementation. 'No one is getting in front of the recommendations of the Pentagon working group,' he said. Sarvis blamed the delay on the White House political apparatus. 'It is painfully obvious that some of the political operatives around the president are haunted by the Clinton missteps, and they're determined not to repeat them,' he said. 'My answer is, it's 17 yrs later. Republicans, conservatives, churchgoers, teabaggers support the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The country has changed.'"

In related news, GetEQUAL has posted a video of its activists making visits to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, politely warning them in advance to expect more activism of the kind we've seen recently should we not see action toward inclusion of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal in the Department of Defense Authorization bill. And as a reminder, these are six senators who need to be heavily lobbied.

The flyer they delivered is below. A video of them making deliveries, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. What does Nancy P mean by "end of the year"? After the congressional elections? Oh, how luvvy! By that time, the Democrats will have lost control of both houses, thus rendering any vote pointless.

    Nancy, doll, I've got something to say to you. Some of us - such as members of Human Rights Campaign - might have shit for brains, but not me.

    Posted by: jason | Apr 27, 2010 9:11:21 AM

  2. Jason, if in fact the votes is held even after the elections, the winners of those contests don't take their seat until after the first of 2011.

    Regardless, it would be nice to see the Congress have some balls on this issue. Therefore, keeping the pressure on them to get this slipped into the DAB is imperative.


    Posted by: Keith | Apr 27, 2010 9:34:26 AM

  3. This will happen.

    It better happen.

    GO GetEQUAL!

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Apr 27, 2010 9:57:03 AM

  4. It's only a flyer, but I wish they had managed to include language 're-framing' the issue as un-American not to support equality.

    BUT... I'm totally psyched about GETEqual's effort.

    Posted by: stephen | Apr 27, 2010 10:11:04 AM

  5. Oh please vote for for us, we will get this repealed "right " after the elections! Yea right, I'm done drinking the cool aid!

    Posted by: major707 | Apr 27, 2010 11:11:14 AM

  6. I think the flyer is too threatening. I'm all for speaking truth to power, but "You're Next!" and "We're done with politicians..." can both be interpreted very aggressively.

    And no, I'm not some dumb homo who's happy with incremental change. But if you threaten public officials (of if there's even a perception of threat), it can really screw up your cause.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 27, 2010 2:00:30 PM

  7. @ Paul R:

    Agreed entirely. I'm all for demanding accountability from Democrats who, all too often, treat LGBT folks as all but expendable. That said, direct action shouldn't necessarily mean threatening rhetoric. There's already enough violent rhetoric in Washington from Right-Wingers, and it breaks my heart to see LGBT folks resorting to the same bully posturing as Tea Partiers. Why would any political action group think this sort of thing is effective, rather than alienating?

    Posted by: TomSkylark | Apr 27, 2010 3:04:00 PM

  8. If Pelosi wants OBAMA to get behind this, he isn't going to do it. He will not be having any press meetings or traveling to different states to round up support or cheering it on. He won't do it. It's not in his schedule.

    Posted by: Name: | Apr 27, 2010 3:05:57 PM

  9. As a veteran of a foriegn war, all I can think is ...

    Rabble-rousers! Get off my Lawn!

    Posted by: Sly | Apr 27, 2010 4:05:56 PM

  10. Barney Frank is correct, these childish publicity stunts don't accomplish anything but notoriety for self-proclaimed "activists."

    For GetEqual to suggest that these misfits "are putting themselves on the line" is just silly.

    GetEqual's self-serving ($) publicity stunts don't change any minds or votes. It's very easy to express anger and frustration, but it doesn't help our movement. We need results, not laughs.

    Posted by: AndrewW | Apr 28, 2010 10:54:24 AM

  11. GetEqual = LGBTeaBaggers


    Posted by: AndrewW | Apr 28, 2010 10:55:29 AM

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