Obama Calls Levin on ‘DADT': Keep Repeal in Defense Bill

Following reports that Senator Carl Levin was considering stripping the Defense Authorization bill of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal amendment, Towleroad has received word from the White House that Obama has reached out to Levin.

Whitehouse The White House also suggested that outreach to the Senate on DADT is underway.

Said White House spokesman Shin Inouye:

"Today, President Obama called Chairman Levin to reiterate his commitment on keeping the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in the National Defense Authorization Act, and the need for the Senate to pass this legislation during the lame duck. The President’s call follows the outreach over the past week by the White House to dozens of Senators from both sides of the aisle on this issue."

Also, here's some hopeful news from Greg Sargent at the Washington Post's Plum Line:

"…very plugged in staffers who are actively involved in counting votes for Senators who favor repeal tell me it's premature to conclude this — and that it could still get 60 votes in the Senate. These staffers tell me they've received private indications from a handful of moderate GOP Senators that they could vote for cloture on a Defense Authorization Bill with DADT repeal in it — if Dem leaders agree to hold a sustained debate on the bill on the Senate floor. Here's why this is important: It throws the ball back into the court of Senator Harry Reid and the White House. It means the onus is on them, mainly on Reid, to agree to a two-week Senate debate on DADT, including allowing amendments."

Contact Harry Reid HERE. Demand he get this done.

Today, CNN released a new poll showing that 72% of Americans believe gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military.


Lawmakers: 'DADT' Repeal May Be Stripped from Defense Bill; Obama to Engage After Release of Pentagon Report [tr]


  1. Joe says

    Part of me wants to say “YES, finnally Obama picks up the phone and does something for us.”

    But, the cynic in me believes he only did this to win points with us, and knows its futile anyway.

  2. candideinnc says

    The Thugs want to waste two weeks of the lame duck session on DADT. Nothing else will be accomplished. Then, at the end, they will all vote against it, as will a few Consevadems, and it will fail. This is a Lose-Lose proposition.

  3. patrick nyc says

    Obama just got back from having his butt kicked from here to India, then to China and back, after a beating in the election. While I would be excited, I no longer trust either party and doubt anything will come with this.

  4. TANK says

    “Hey Carl, these professional gays I met with want me to call you and say hi to keep them in business. We’re still on for eighteen this saturday, yah? Anyway, they’re right here–say hi, gay inc. queers, ‘HI, CARL!’. I will, bye. Alright, I bought you some time and cover, now you owe me the gay vote…so spin this well to the pickle kissers. So unless you have any more gifts to give me, meeting adjourned. I’ve got real things to do…like cave on tax cuts for my bosses.”

  5. says

    The part that should not be ignored is the R’s need for “amendments”. They plan on loading it up with every poison pill they can think of so that Reid can’t possibly bring it to the floor ,or, if it passes, the POTUS won’t be able to sign it.

  6. Ian says

    Remember that the lame duck session will be minus one Democrat – Mark Kirk is taking Roland Burris’ place in Illinois. Anyone living in that state needs to call his House office immediately so that he will follow the will of his constituents and vote for repeal.

  7. Ninong says

    At the 11th hour, President Obama found time in his busy schedule calling lady basketball players to place a call to Sen. Carl Levin to explain that he really and truly is committed to repealing DADT in spite of all appearances to the contrary.

    Meanwhile HRC flunkies are really excited that they will be receiving extra tickets to the next White House cocktail reception, where they will all give a loud standing ovation when the President tells them how hard he has been working to promote equality for all Americans. Except those Americans who insist they be allowed to marry someone of the same sex. Other than those and the ones who insist they want to get themselves blown the fuck up in Afghanistan while being openly gay everyone else was happy. Except, of course, for those who were expecting something to be done with ENDA this year. Well, you can’t win them all, can you?

    How about another cocktail instead?

  8. Paul R says

    Two weeks??? What, does absolutely every senator need to speak for an hour or three? The last time the Senate debated something for two weeks was probably the first time DADT passed.

  9. Keith says

    The only reason Obama wants to keep it in the Defense Bill and get it passed is so that he, Gates and McMullen have control on implementation. . .and possibly the “never to be fully integrated” aspects of DADT. If they allow the courts to decide it based upon constitutionality, they’ll lose, and then have no control as LGBT servicemembers will be treated exactly the same as everyone else. That is something the military fears at the moment, even though there’s no evidence to suggest that full equality would disrupt the services in any meaningful manner. At least that’s my take on why Obama is suddenly pushing it to remain, because Gates wants the repeal under his control. . .not the courts.

  10. gayalltheway says

    72% in favor of the repeal but apparently that’s still not enough.

    Are they waiting for 100% in favor before they will actually repeal the damn law?

    Broken government is broken.

  11. Brenda says

    Our President and the Democrats actually did a lot to get the House to vote *FOR* repeal of DADT.

    In the House, only five Republicans voted for repeal. But, 229 Democrats voted in favor of repealing the ban.

    168 Republicans voted AGAINST repeal of DADT in the House.

    26 Democrats (mostly “Blue Dogs” who were voted out in the recent elections) voted AGAINST repeal of DADT in the House.

    Almost ALL the Republicans voted against repeal in the House.

    Yet, most of the gays in this thread act like genuine, unreasonable screamers by blaming EVERYTHING on President Obama and the Democrats while ignoring Republican hatred.

    Andy Towle’s blog is great.

    But even Andy Towle has LESS posts about the hateful Republicans on gay rights issues than he does posts that either implicitly or explicitly blame EVERYTHING on our President, including limited coverage of John McCain’s homophobic nastiness regarding DADT and almost no coverage of the Republicans hateful maneuvers against DADT.

    Many of you gay men who think the president and Democrats are against you have the gall to ignore the hatred of Republicans like John McCain.

    Then when good work happens on behalf of gays I bet you are STILL going to hate our President and the Democrats.

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