DADT Repeal Efforts Continue Despite Military Objections

The optimistic news on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", from Kerry Eleveld at The Advocate:

Levin "Alex Nicholson, executive director of gay veterans group Servicemembers United, said because of the legislative options he was more optimistic about the chances for repeal than he had been in recent months.

'For the first time in a long time I think that we have a realistic, politically viable path to repeal right now,' he said. 'It will depend on what kind of buy-in we get from key members on the committee and from the White House.'

Despite Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urging Congress not to vote on repeal this year, Levin has has continued to push forward with the effort. 'The president says he wants to repeal ‘Don’t ask.’ Why shouldn’t we repeal it?' Levin told Congressional Quarterly earlier this week.

Though Gates’s objections have posed a challenge to swaying a handful of legislators on the committee, one person with knowledge of the matter said repeal supporters were on the verge of securing the final votes.

'We’re very close — within one or two votes — and we feel optimistic about that,' said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Levin has been characterized as "a hero" in efforts to keep repeal alive.

And the infuriating news (we've been strung along for months, as many suspected, that there was any support for repeal this year from the White House despite Obama's State of the Union promise):

"Throughout the efforts, the White House has continued to remain in the background.

A second source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the White House was partially in a bind based on an agreement White House officials had made with Defense Department officials earlier this year to let the Pentagon’s working group study reach completion before pushing for a repeal vote.

The source, who had knowledge of the meeting, said discussions around “the process” began in December and were finalized in January, when prospects for the administration’s main agenda items, such as health care reform, were still looking grim.

The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this article."


  1. Tim says

    The current situation with the repeal of DADT sounds very familiar. Look, we’re so close. Just need a couple of votes. We’re working hard for you trying to do what’s right. We may not be able to get there, but we’re trying our best. So, don’t get mad at us and keep those contributions flowing….

    Sounds just like the promise of the public option. That didn’t work out either, did it?

    First Obama promises he won’t sign any bill that doesn’t contain a public option. When 60 votes were required for it, we had over 55, but just couldn’t get there. Then when we only needed 50 votes with reconciliation, suddenly, we didn’t have 50 votes any longer. Even though there were public statements on record from over 50 senators in support of the public option. We couldn’t even GET A VOTE on a public option because those senators who “claimed” support for it, didn’t want to actually be put on the spot with a vote. It’s easy to “voice” support for something when you know you will never be forced to actually “vote” on it.

    I’m tired of being “strung along” by this administration and the dems in congress. NO more money, no more time, no more volunteering, no more votes until things change. Promises of change will no longer convince me. You give me the change FIRST before you ever get my support again.

  2. walter says

    since when does the commander in chief have to make deals with the department of defense. he is in charge tell them what he wants done and if they don’t want to do it fire them.this really getting pathetic promises made promises broken. 6 months until elections nobody can tell what is going to happen then. move now.

  3. bobbyjoe says

    Backroom deals with the pharmaceutical industry over healthcare. Deals with the DOD that aren’t mentioned when the President declares in the SOTU that he will work with Congress to repeal DADT “this year.”

    Didn’t Obama promise us he’d have the most transparent administration in history?

    Oh, they’re “transparent” alright, just not in the way we were led to expect.

  4. says

    EARTH TO ADVOCATE: Evidence that the fix was in from the very start of his administration was there for those who weren’t to willfully blind to see it.

    E.g., an article that appeared in the “Boston Globe” two weeks after Obama was sworn in laid out almost exactly what actually happened…NOTHING all of 2009 then exactly one year and one day later Gates & Mullen did their phony song and dance for the Senate Armed Services Committee. Read it an weep:

    “The Obama administration is telling the Pentagon and gay-rights advocates that it will have to study the implications for national security and enlist more support in Congress before trying to overturn the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” law and allow gays to serve openly in the military, according to people involved in the discussions. They said Obama, who pledged during the campaign to overturn the law, does not want to ask lawmakers to do so UNTIL THE MILITARY HAS COMPLETED A COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT THAT SUCH A MOVE WOULD HAVE ON MILITARY DISCIPLINE. … one senior officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said STAFF OFFICERS FOR ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, HAVE BEEN TOLD IT WILL BE SEVERAL MONTHS AT THE EARLIEST – possibly not even this year – until the top brass will be formally asked to weigh in on a change in policy. AND EVEN THEN, HE SAID, THE MILITARY HAS BEEN ASSURED IT WILL HAVE WIDE LATITUDE TO UNDERTAKE A DETAILED STUDY OF HOW A CHANGE IN THE POLICY WOULD AFFECT THE MILITARY.” – Boston Globe, February 1, 2009.

    And why is Gay Inc., NOT talking about/preparing to fight Gates OTHER ridiculous demand he revealed Feb. 2nd:

    even after repeal he wants AT LEAST another YEAR before he must stop discharging gays.

  5. Jason says

    It’s too little too late for my military career let alone for my ex’s and he luckily still serve’s. I guess in even if paid in blood our rights are not looked upon with importance or equal status….

    God if only Harvey were still alive….

  6. jacksmith says

    Alan Grayson Honors The Dead

    I want to commend all of you for working so hard and being so strong at helping the whitehouse and congress begin to address our U.S. and Global healthcare crisis. You have been AWESOME! my fellow Americans and peoples of the World. America and the World is better and safer for it. My greatest pride is the knowledge that I am one of you. And that you really get it. You really understand the importance of it all.

    There are some potentially very good things in the healthcare legislation. Especially with the reconciliation fix’s. The Democrats, Bernie Sanders and the Whitehouse did a GREAT! job of fighting to produce the best healthcare legislation that they could. They have earned all our strong support. And we should give it to them.

    But it was your relentless pressure and hard work that made the difference. Whatever good comes from this healthcare legislation, America and the peoples of the World will have each of you to thank. You were smart, creative, courageous and relentless. You fought together for the best legislation possible. And when you had to, you fought alone. No matter who stumbled and fell you continued to push and forge ahead. Fighting for the lives and health of the American people and the World. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD OF YOUR-SELVES :-)

    It may come to pass that future generations will look back on us and say that we were ALL Americas Greatest Generations. And that healthcare reform was our finest hour. You should be proud of our leaders President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the many other Democratic and independent fighters for the people in congress. They proved them-self worthy of the leadership of a GREAT! PEOPLE.

    But we are not done yet. This was just the beginning of healthcare reform, not the end. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, ARE NOT! divided on healthcare legislation. The vast majority of you have been consistently crystal clear that this legislation does not go far enough. You want a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE!! available to everyone on day one. And you want it NOW!


    WE THE PEOPLE have been crystal clear that we want an end to dependence on for-profit healthcare and the for-profit proxies called private for non-profit healthcare. The American people want the CHOICE! of a strong Government-run Public Option to replace their need or dependence on healthcare providers whose primary motivation is profit. Rather than providing the highest quality, easiest accessible and most affordable medically necessary healthcare possible. This is what the rest of the developed World has. And the American people want it too. They want healthcare ASSURANCE! Not, for-profit health insurance. And they want it NOW!

    Now is the time to continue the push for a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone that wants it on day one. Rationally it’s clear what we have to do to get this done. SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATS that supported you with a Public Option choice, and REMOVE as many republicans as you can. Not one republican in congress was willing to step across the isle to support a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE!! available to everyone on day one. NOT ONE! Let no candidate prevail this November that does not support a Strong Government-run Public Option.

    47,000 AMERICANS die each year from lack of healthcare. 120,000 die from treatable illness that don’t die in other developed countries. Hundreds of thousands of you are dieing from medical accidents in a rush to profit. And Millions of your are injured. Millions more are driven into bankruptcy. All for the privilege of paying two to three times as much as any other people in the developed world for healthcare. HOGWASH!

    Additionally, tens of thousands of you and your children were killed and millions sickened and injured from a terror attack with H1N1 (swine flu). Released on the American people and the World by the for-profit healthcare industry. All in an attempt to panic and frighten you into accepting the oxymoronic criminal enterprise of private for-profit healthcare (The most costly, deadly, dangerous, and disgraceful product sold in America). H1N1 is still sickening people and killing them. Especially children, the young and the middle aged. And there will be a third wave. These are the terrorist you need to worry about the most. Even the so-called international terrorist would not do something so INSANE! But greed driven medical profiteers would and did.

    Apparently as far as republicans in GOVERNMENT are concerned, YOU! my fellow Americans – CAN JUST DROP DEAD! Including their own family members. Fools!… Hundreds of thousands of you, and possibly millions of you will die from the long-term effects of your infection and poisoning with H1N1.

    So my fellow Human Beings. Rest-up, Take good care of the basics (Balanced nutrition, hydration, exercise, rest and POSITIVE emotional supports). Then wade back into the FIGHT! for a strong Government-run Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. Drug re-importation, Abolishment or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. You must take back control of your healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. you MUST do it NOW! This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings. I’m glad to know of you. And proud to be one of you.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)