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

White House Responds to Ruling on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

I reached out earlier today to the White House for response to yesterday's ruling declaring "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" unconstitutional, and just received this statement from White House spokesman Shin Inouye:

"The Justice Department is studying the decision, including the question of its scope and immediate effect and we expect them to announce their next steps after that review is completed. The President remains committed to legislative repeal of DADT, and he will continue to work with lawmakers to achieve that goal this fall. And he will continue to work closely with Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on an ongoing study of how to best implement the repeal."

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  1. JB,

    You show me one republican who actually has to stand for election that is supporting any gay rights issue to prove your point that they are making HUGE strides.

    Posted by: Tim | Sep 10, 2010 10:31:51 PM


  2. @ Rin: Obama has NEVER worked WITH Congress for a guaranteed end to the ban—in fact, he's worked AGAINST it...forcing our allies in Congress to trash the bill that WOULD have done what you want: unequivocally ordered the military to end discharges and any other form of discrimination against gays. That was the five-year old proposed Military Readiness Enhancement Act...now DEAD thanks to Obama. For those who care to know the FACTS behind the steam rising from another crock of WH shit, read on.

    Less than two weeks after Obama was sworn in, the “Boston Globe” reported on a deal he had made with the Pentagon to delay addressing “repeal” until THEY were ready for it. Almost a year-of-doing-nothing-to-end-discharges to the day later—VOILA: SECDEF Gates claims to have had a religious conversion, but, ooops, can’t end discharges now, must spend millions of taxpayer dollars to “study” blah blah blah.

    Thus, the only difference between Obama and Bill Clinton in relation to the ban was that Clinton came into office genuinely intending to lift it and then caved to the military, while Obama came into office ALREADY having caved to the military. Therefore, pretty words aside, the only ACTION Obama took during all of 2009 was to:

    1. Continue kicking out gay servicemembers day after day even tho he had/still has the legal power to stop such discharges with the stroke of the proverbial pen in the name of national security under a law passed by Congress in 1983 that the Supreme Court has ruled constitutional.

    The law is “10 United States Code § 12305”—“Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Laws Relating to Promotion, Retirement, and Separation.” It reads, emphasis mine:

    “Notwithstanding ANY other provision of law, during any period members
    of a reserve component are serving on active duty pursuant to an order to
    active duty under authority of section 12301, 12302, or 12304 of this title,
    THE PRESIDENT MAY SUSPEND ANY PROVISION OF LAW relating to promotion, retirement, OR SEPARATION applicable to ANY member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the
    United States.”

    The President himself said in June of 2009 that such discharges “weaken national security.”

    The practice itself is known as “stop-loss,” and, at the discretion of the DoD, has been applied to gays at various times going all the way back to WWII after the formal ban was first established.

    Over the last year, no less than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin have asked him to freeze discharges, along with 77 members of the House who asked him by letter to do it last summer.

    2. Further, as noted in this lawsuit, he has allowed his DOJ to REPEATEDLY AND LEGALLY UNNECESSARILY defend DADT in court. In June of last year, they convinced the Supremes to deny certiorari to the DADT challenge by former Army CAPT Jim Pietrangelo [the same arrested twice this year at the White House with Dan Choi]. They tried repeatedly and ruthlessly to stop the LCR case ruled on yesterday, including claiming that one of the plaintiffs, a gay servicemember in Iraq, could not claim harm since he had not yet been discharged, and refused LCR’s offer to table their lawsuit if the DOJ would stop discharges pending repeal.

    This coming Monday, the ODOJ is scheduled to go into court AGAIN to defend DADT in the “Witt” case. [Since his being sworn in, he has allowed his DoD...JUST LIKE BUSH DID..to IGNORE the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling that any gays with the seven states it covers cannot be discharged without proof that he/she SPECIFICALLY harms the military.]

    Yes, in his January 10 SOTU, he declared, “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”...then immediately went MIA again...except for:

    CONTINUING to discharge gays day-after-day;

    CONTINUING to let his DOJ defend DADT;

    ALLOWED his direct report, the SECDEF, to create yet ANOTHER UNNECESSARY “study” based on homophobic presumptions and built to delay or outright kill any chance of “repeal” ACTION by Congress;

    REFUSED to personally insert “repeal” in HIS submissions to Congress re DEFAUTH both last year and this year;

    BACKED the hardball play by Gates and rancid HASC Chair Skelton to demand that Congress NOT act on ANY “repeal”-related legislation before Gates wanted them to....

    —all which resulted usually-reluctant critic gay Cong. Barney Frank to evolve from saying Obama was “ducking” the issue to declaring that he believed the President was, in fact, AGAINST “repeal” this year, and that HIS opposition was giving members of Congress an excuse NOT to vote for “repeal.”

    WHICH BRINGS US TO MAY OF THIS YEAR and the MYTH that Obama was the hero when, in fact, he BETRAYED his own promises, members of his own Party, gay servicemembers, and the entire gay community.

    “Talking Points Memo,” May 26, 2010:

    “The final push [for ‘repeal’] CAME FROM THE HILL, where key members of Congress who support ‘repeal’, like Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made it clear that they were moving forward with “repeal” legislation WITH OR WITHOUT THE WHITE HOUSE'S BLESSING. ‘Levin and others made it clear that the train was leaving the station and the White House not only was not conducting but THEY WEREN'T EVEN ON BOARD’, Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, an advocacy group for gays in the military, said in an interview with TPMDC. ‘They were backed into a corner and it was blatantly obvious SO THEY FINALLY DECIDED TO GET ON BOARD’."

    Alas, instead of getting on board, and using his powers as POTUS and real head of the Party to help our allies in Congress wrangle Dem holdouts, he DERAILED the train to a GUARANTEED end to discharges, virtually wadding up, at the insistence of Gates, the REAL “repeal” bill that he had repeatedly promised to fight for, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, and forcing them to throw it out the window.

    “The Huffington Post,” June 3, 2010:

    “Pelosi said the House WEAKENED ITS REPEAL LANGUAGE TO MOLLIFY THE WHITE HOUSE. …Military leaders REFUSED TO ACCEPT LANGUAGE THAT WOULD BAR DISCRIMINATION, so the clause was dropped.”

    “’At the end of the day, extraordinary power was given’ to the Pentagon.” – SLDN Director Aubrey Sarvis, “Politico,” May 26, 2010.

    The result is that the “delayed trigger” replacement amendment [unlike the MREA] would NOT GUARANTEE an end to discharges along with repeal of the law EVER even IF Obama/Gates/Mullen [read: Gates] agree to confirm to Congress at some UNSPECIFIED date after “the study” ends December 1st that “repeal” would not harm the military.

    Even IF they do, there is no longer anything that would prevent the military from going back to its own internal pre-DADT policies that had resulted in well over 100,000 discharged.

    And given that the Senate may not vote on DEFAUTH until after midterms which would likely kill any chance of including the “maybe repeal” amendment, there is reason to believe that nothing’s happening because, as Barney Frank said in the Spring, the White House is still signaling to Dems that they do not WANT it voted on this year. If it’s not, the earliest we could even IMAGINE that it could be would be sometime after the 2012 election IF Dems regain control of both houses.

    Obama is working to end the ban? In a pig’s eye!

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Sep 10, 2010 11:15:49 PM


  3. If i have the choice of relying on the courts or Obama to recognize my rights, I'll take the courts every time. Wish Obama had a set like the Governator, or Richie Daley in his own hometown.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Sep 10, 2010 11:30:10 PM


  4. "Log Cabin Republicans: 1
    President Messiah: 0
    Democrat-controlled Congress: 0

    Sorry kids, you can't get your vote back, but there's a midterm election coming up. Give it a little more thought this time."

    Hmmm, funny the Republican part of the Congress was left out of the above tally. As if the LCR's and Meghan McCain are suddenly the new leaders of the Republican party. But they ain't. If the Dem's score 0 (and I won't argue with that--they're a cowardly lot), the Repub's score -10.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the LCR's have finally accomplished something; they deserve credit for actually working towards gay equality, and succeeding in this case, unlike the GOProud conservative lapdogs. If only the LCR's could convince their Repub brothers actually in office to vote our way even once, but the vast majority of the Republican party remains virulently anti-gay. Anyone who insists otherwise should list the pro-gay candidates so we're all informed.

    It's not the Republican part of the LCR's that's making forward strides, it's the gay part acting in their and our self-interest. Bravo for that, but anyone who thinks this means anything within the Republican party as a whole is either being foolish or disingenuous.

    I'm fortunate to be a liberal with 100% pro-gay Democrats representing me in Congress. No Kool Aid required to know who I'll vote for.

    Posted by: Ernie | Sep 11, 2010 12:11:56 AM


  5. VOTE REPUBLICAN The one that are NOT in office are endorsing you. Now go give your votes to the ones running. And lets really see how committed they are to you fags!

    It's going to be a HOOT! TRUST ME!

    Posted by: RED DEVIL | Sep 11, 2010 1:30:47 AM


  6. You know what Obama is doing it at his pace and you don't FUCKING LIKE IT because it's not to your liking. You voted for him because you felt you had NO CHOICE.

    Not because you liked him BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T AND SOME OF YOU MOTHERFUCKERS NEVER DID are just like your hetero counterparts! simply arrogant like if this is lifted you're going to enlist tomorrow GIRL PLEASE with your poo poo shee shee jobs and fab apts. For the military GTFOH!

    Remember he won't suffer at all if it is only 1 term. And if you really think America is changing towards the gays just wait until the Neocons get control in Nov. LCR??? who the fuck will they be then NOTHING........You bitches will be the laughing stock for the next 2 years!!!!

    Oh yeah but we will have Melhman on our side! BWA HA HA HA!

    Posted by: Jake | Sep 11, 2010 1:40:57 AM


  7. Thanks Michael- I had no idea of the duplicity of Obama and others around him, when it came to repealing DADT. He is acting cowardly and has completely given-in to the military hierarchy. The DOJ and Holder should be ashamed of themselves. Others have pointed out that Obama does not care if he is only a one-term president. He's thrown the LGBT community under the bus. Regrettably, we have very few national leaders who will speak-up and do the right thing. And even congressional leadership seems to be no match for Obama's disgraceful duplicitous behavior.

    Posted by: Jerry | Sep 11, 2010 2:08:31 AM


  8. If McCain/Palin were elected, would there have been any action on DADT, ENDA, hospital visitation, extending benefits to federal employees? I think not.

    Will electing Republicans to Congress do anything to move any of those issues farther along? I don't think so. As someone suggested, they'd be far more likely to roll back and kill any of those baby steps that have been made.

    That said, it's really unfortunate that Obama has failed to step up and actually lead.

    Posted by: Rich | Sep 11, 2010 4:27:23 AM


  9. I gave my last dollar to the Dems. Unless a great independent runs for office, i'm through donating time and money

    Posted by: kevin dement | Sep 11, 2010 6:27:37 AM


  10. I think i'll study the words "fierce advocate" in November.

    Posted by: John Normile | Sep 11, 2010 7:47:33 AM


  11. What a gutless, dishonest fraud! Gates was supportive of repeal until Obama and other White House homophobes ordered him to speak out against repeal.

    Posted by: Esurb | Sep 11, 2010 8:47:51 AM


  12. The acidic responses displayed here are surprisingly strong. They don't reflect the ass-kissing representatives of gay power who treat invites to the White House like the red carpet. Don't those swollen heads there ever wonder how much their smug treatment of their gay base accounts for the lack of enthusiasm for Democrats this coming election?

    Posted by: Esurb | Sep 11, 2010 8:52:51 AM


  13. the repubs have already said what they will do if they regain congress

    Put a complete halt to any and all repeal to dont ask dont tell. Do u gay repubs ever watch the news?

    Anyway; its not like they will gain control. They will gain seats for sure but control shall remain in dem hands of both houses.

    Oh, Bohener and Mcconell etc have also said besides putting a full stopo to DADT legislation if they win control as 1 of their top priorities they will also instigate a whole slew of investigations ala the clinton days on obama. Nothing will get done except idiotic investigations. That is what the modern repub party is. the reality of the modern repub party = stop/halt/destroy government especially new deal and great society stuff while hating on us gays. Every singles last repub actualy running for office at this moment in time has already used fear of the gayz to drum up their base to vote

    Eisenhower, hell nixon wouldnt make it in the modern repub party. U conservative queens need to wake up and realize that the repub party is not in ur or the country's best interest. The dems might suck in a lot of ways but they r 1000 times better than the alternative

    Also for any dems out there, ignore the generic polls. Everyone hates incumbents and always have. Look at ur local polls. people hate all incumbents but generally end up liking and always voting for their specific incumbent rep

    GOTV

    Posted by: reality bites | Sep 11, 2010 10:21:27 AM


  14. Obama is against my marriage and wants to raise my taxes. Why would I vote for such a person?

    The only reason was that the alternative -- crazy old geezer and Palin a heartbeat from the presidency -- was too horrible to contemplate.

    Posted by: wimsy | Sep 11, 2010 10:44:04 AM


  15. wimsy

    do u make $250,000 or more a year?

    If not then ur taxes wont be raised

    If u do which is only 2% of america (basic math 98% of america will see no return of the clinton era tax rates)think more of a return of the clinton era tax rates. Everyone did very well under the clinton economy and tax system

    Posted by: reality bites | Sep 11, 2010 10:52:46 AM


  16. Reality Bites wants to turn this into a Dem fundraiser even though Dems have done nothing but lied to our community and attempted to stymie any progress we have ever made. The truth is we never get anywhere with legislation. All of our victories have come from the courts.
    I expect Obama to appeal this decision not because there is any political price to pay if he doesn't, but because he is a total homophobe. There isn't any other explanation. Congress can say they have nothing to do with the judges decision, so it won't further exacerbate the thumping they will take in November, and Obama doesn't have to face election for two years. For the paid obamabots that bring up that the military may suddenly stage a coup over this issue, I'll remind them that Truman de-segregated the military unilaterally, and we didn't fall apart as a nation. The commander-in-chief issues the orders and the military is suppose to follow them. If they don't, they're out. But this argument is the last straw of a desperate Obat who knows Obama has actually hurt the gay community by co-opting our organizations like HRC, a completely counterproductive group that lobbies LGBT to support the White House not the other way around.

    No, any appeal of this decision should be regarded as an act of war on us. I will vote Republican not because I think they would be better for Gay rights, the LCR not withstanding, but because our community has been asleep at the wheel for the past two years worshipping at the false altar of Obama and Dems. When we are fully awake we get out and protest. What happened to the march last year? Liberal organizations convinced people not to show up, and it worked. The march was anemic. HRC went into overdrive trying to protect Obama, and the result was we lost all momentum. Isn't it a shame that the two major victories we have had in the past two years have come from the LCRs with the DADT suit, and a partnership that includes a conservative republican, Ted Olson that struck down Prop 8 in CA.
    We need to show that we are willing to vote against Dems. If they believe we would never do it they will ALWAYS take us for granted. Why do you think independents get all the attention in an election? Each side has to fight to win their vote. If we always fall back to the fear based rational that, "Yes, Dems are horrible, but the alternative is worse" we will always be slaves on the Democrat plantation.

    Posted by: Mawm | Sep 11, 2010 11:45:21 AM


  17. mawm u wake this into a log cabinite recruitment space

    any gay with 2 brain cells knows that nothing has ever been supported let alone passed by the repub party to our benefit

    the dems might be horrid little twit repub lite wannabes but they r miles above and beyond repubs as far as gay issues go

    the repub party had nothing what so ever to do with this case. A few log cabinites did but they r not the repub party and foolish to think enda etc would have happened via repub congress critters

    lets get real, dems suck and Obama is no FDR but they r miles above and beyond anything the repubs offer. Things can and will get worse if repubs r given power

    Posted by: reality bites | Sep 11, 2010 3:21:27 PM


  18. A Progressive Democratic Party needs to form as the Blue Dog Democrat establishment will always play the progressive wing for fools.

    BTW why hasn't Towleroad reported the Federal Govt closing down the one & only maker & distributer of "poppers"in the US?

    Posted by: von lmo | Sep 11, 2010 9:04:41 PM


  19. Poppers are stupid

    Posted by: clint | Sep 12, 2010 11:34:36 AM


  20. fine, just don't do ANYTHING to set us back!

    Posted by: r | Sep 12, 2010 12:29:05 PM


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