Shock: Two Gay Military Groups Come Out in Support of Passing Defense Bill Without ‘DADT’ Repeal Amendment

Two gay military groups, Knights Out (a group originally formed by Dan Choi and 37 West Point grads in support of LGBT people serving openly in the military) and Outserve (an underground network of actively serving LGBT service members), will reportedly release a statement that they support the Defense bill without the DADT repeal amendment.

Ko_outserve Politico's Morning Defense reports:

Two gay troops’ groups will announce today that they’d support breaking off DADT repeal if doing so would help the defense authorization act pass – but they’ll keep pushing for repeal in the lame-duck Congress, Morning Defense has learned. The statement from OutServe and Knights Out is just one prong in a complex offensive planned for lawmakers’ return to Washington this week, organizers said. 

“On behalf of the more than 1,000 active duty gay and lesbian service members and 500 gay and lesbian veterans we represent, we respectfully urge Congress to pass the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act to fund the aircraft, weapons, combat vehicles, ammunition and promised pay-raises for all troops, whether or not the repeal of don't ask, don't tell is included,” the statement will say. “To be clear, we will continue to fight for our integrity as gay and lesbian service members and we hope that legislative action in Congress can be taken in 2010 to lift the ban.” 

I don't get it. No doubt we'll be hearing more on this report later.

UPDATE: Here's the joint statement from OutServe and Knights Out:

"There is nothing more important than loyalty to those with whom we serve. This means ensuring that no one issue interferes with funding the courageous and selfless work our fellow service members are doing around the world. Therefore, on behalf of the more than 1,000 active duty gay and lesbian service members and 500 gay and lesbian veterans we represent, we respectfully urge Congress to pass the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act to fund the aircraft, weapons, combat vehicles, ammunition and promised pay-raises for all troops, whether or not the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" is included."

"To be clear, we will continue to fight for our integrity as gay and lesbian service members and we hope that legislative action in Congress can be taken in 2010 to lift the ban. With the support of President Obama, Chairman Mullen, Secretary Gates and the reported seventy-percent of service members surveyed, a new day of openly gay service is at hand if Congress acts during this lame duck session. We are proud to serve in the United States Armed Forces today and tomorrow."

More on the groups: "OutServe is a network of approximately 1,000 active-duty soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and members of the Coast Guard. JD Smith is a pseudonym. Knights Out is an organization of West Point alumni, staff and faculty who are united in supporting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender soldiers to openly serve their country. The group has 203 members and graduate supporters and 462 allies."

The joint statement was sent from the Palm Center.

REACTIONS

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Servicemember Legal Defense Network (SLDN), Servicemembers United (SU) and the Center for American Progress (CAP) reject Outserve and Knights Out position:

"The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Servicemember Legal Defense Network (SLDN), Servicemembers United (SU) and the Center for American Progress (CAP), today united to send one strong and consistent message to senators as they return for the lame duck session: repeal the unjust and discriminatory law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this year. Under no conditions should DADT repeal be stripped from the underlying Defense Authorization bill; that is simply a non-starter."

Dan Choi's reaction:

Chooi

Comments

  1. Dennis says

    They are soldiers. They believe in what they are doing and I think that, rightly or wrongly, they want themselves and their colleagues to have the material support that they need to complete their mission.

    That they are willing to delay the justice of their cause for the lives of their fellow soldiers is a credit to them, not that they need any more credit.

    Self-sacrifice defines the best soldiers.

  2. says

    I think Dennis is right that this is a principled stance, but I think it’s also a canny PR move. By demonstrating that gay soldiers place service ahead of their rights, they undermine the major charge against them – that gays in the military undermine military readiness. The message here is that military readiness comes first, and the gays are not a threat to that.

  3. TripPsyc says

    Problem with this is, do you think the entire military is going to stop being funded because of DADT being attached to the bill? Will this self-sacrifice even be noticed by republicans, doubtful..

  4. Fenrox says

    Wow crazy, It’s like DADT isn’t as easy to repeal as we all know 100% that it is. How strange, maybe a wizard is playing a trick on us. Good thing we are compromising this nations integrity by being petulant little children instead of cunning adults, I am very sure that acting like a child will get you military reform.

    Thank god we vote with our feelings instead of our brain!

  5. Joe says

    WHAT?

    This doesn’t make sense. If you’re an advocacy organization you DON’T COMPROMISE. That’s what politicians are for. You push and push – the defense authorization will pass. People don’t just stop funding the military, so there is no reason to unattach it.

    Also this:

    “There is nothing more important than loyalty to those with whom we serve. This means ensuring that no one issue interferes with funding the courageous and selfless work our fellow service members are doing around the world.”

    This really bothers me. I get that they are soldiers, but there is always going to be a reason to put your rights behind for the loyalty of the mission. Eventually, you have to stand up and just say NO to all of the bullshit.

    This just made it so easy for Reid, the Republicans, and all of the Dems. They need to be pushed, and if they aren’t then nothing will happen. Who is running these groups? Clearly not someone who is a true activist.

  6. db says

    Do we know that DADT repeal is less likely to pass if it’s not attached to the defense authorization bill? Weren’t some of the Republican senator holdouts using their objections to the defense bill amendment process as their rationale for opposing it?

    Since the Democrats always lose games of chicken with Republicans anyway, it seems to me they might as well offer repeal as a stand-alone bill during the lame-duck session, giving the waverers no procedural objection to hide behind, no “backroom deals” to complain about.

  7. Chuck Mielke says

    My knee-jerk reaction is that this is merely giving in to conservative blackmail. I personally think this stinks. The “progressives” need to be just as heartless and bloodthirsty as the conservatives. Expose their fake “concern” for the economy (i.e., the deficit) and use their own fear against them: filibuster the military budget until the John McCain clones understand that the military can go to hell unless equality rules. We are not at risk; the conservatives simply want us to think we are.

  8. says

    @dennis; delaying justice is never praiseworthy. Torturing prisoners is NEVER justified.
    I have said before all the other NATO allies allow gays to serve in their militaries. What’s the fucking problem with US soldiers ? Are they prudish ?

  9. says

    If there is not any progress on our crucial issues by spring, and that is what I expect, let’s have a march on Washington, a serious,responsible march, and underststed march, no camp, craziness,or wild behavior, nota Pride march, as all of America will be watching and we want to appeal to moderate Americans, therefore we must be under control, but firm, and serious.

  10. patrick nyc says

    It’s pretty clear by now that both parties, the President and even some gay ‘advocates’ are against our basic rights. Even though Obama could have put a stop to this until Congress took it up, something the Tea Baggers will not, no matter how many gays reach out to them they are still nuts, DADT repeal is dead.

    Time to take out the black dresses.

  11. BobN says

    Like we’re supposed to believe that the Congress would just somehow not pass the Defense Authorization bill.

    Somebody go out and check the political affiliations of these jerks.

  12. mike says

    In a way, I agree with them. Why attach the repeal DADT to a defense appropriations bill, which could cause the bill to be delayed. Our servicemen and women might be adversely affected and find their mission to defend our country compromised.

    Why not have a straight up-and-down vote? Smoke the pricks out. Make every last damned double-talking, two-faced congressperson go on the public record on DADT.

    Then, go after them if they vote against repeal.

  13. mcNnyc says

    Yeah…see we’ve been spending our capital for an elitist worker program instead of ENDA and now the few and the proud tuck tail and run for cover.

    We now have our own quislings to blame for this…cause if you don;t think this will be the cover obama and mccain and reid need to bury this….

    Time to move on to more important issues that effect more of our communities…

  14. rackt says

    In an ideal world, repealing DADT would stand on it’s own. Too bad we don’t live there.

    DADT repeal has everything to do with National Defense and belongs in FY 2011 NDA. To think for a second that DADT repeal isn’t necessary undermines everything the repeal stands for. Why even bother with a repeal if it’s significance can be postponed. Make those who claim to support the troops put their votes on record.

    These obstructionist a holes, it’s been so clear what has been happening. DADT will be repealed. It’s just who can claim victory. Both parties have been fighting not to repeal DADT but to see who will be the victor.

    Evil seems to have a new ally.

  15. Jerry6 says

    SHUT UP CHOI!!! You are so obnoxious that even some of our supporters have stopped helping us because of your obnoxious actions and comments. What makes you think that anyone really gives a hoot what you think or do? After all, you got caught and discharged.

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