Main | Thursday, September 03, 2009

Without Ted, What Now For DADT?

What will happen to the overturn of DADT, now that its lead Senate sponsor is gone?
“Sen. Kennedy is the lead sponsor of the bill; obviously with his illness, those issues , any number of issues that he was the leader of are complicated by his absence,” David Scott, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbies for gay rights. Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, whose main goal is to end the policy, said that Kennedy’s illnesses “accounted for some of the delay in the introduction” of the bill, but said they were continuing to talk with other Democratic senators and hoped to have a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate in the fall. About 18 months ago, Kennedy told Sarvis’ group and gay-rights activists that he wanted to be the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal the current law — but first he wanted to get some Republican support. “He felt very strongly about it being bipartisan,” Sarvis said. Kennedy never ended up introducing a bill this Congress, and now it’ll be up to another Senate Democrat to step up to push the controversial issue.
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand still has a commitment from the chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee to hold a hearing on DADT some time this fall. Other than that...

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