Main | Monday, May 24, 2010

BREAKING: White House Meeting With Gay Groups Over DADT Repeal Deal

Kerry Eleveld reports at the Advocate on some breaking news about DADT:
The Advocate has learned that concurrent meetings took place Monday morning at the White House and on Capitol Hill that could help clear the way for “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal to be attached to the Department of Defense authorization bill later this week. LGBT groups met with officials at the White House while legislative affairs representatives from the White House and the Department of Defense briefed the House and Senate leadership offices on Capitol Hill along with those of Rep. Patrick Murphy and Sens. Carl Levin and Joseph Lieberman. A White House aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed the White House meeting. "Our understanding is that Congress is determined to act this week and we are learning more about their proposal now," said the aide.
The details of the reported deal:
According to one person familiar with the White House meeting, the proposal that is being considered would repeal the current statute this year, but implementation of repeal would not take place until after completion of the Pentagon’s working group study in December. Further, repeal would require certification from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral Mike Mullen that the new law will not have a negative impact on readiness, recruitment, retention and other key factors that affect the military. The language would not include a nondiscrimination policy but rather will return authority for open service by gays and lesbians back to the Pentagon.
UDPATE: Pam Spaulding is furious.
Do they think we cannot see the political jiu-jitsu at work -- it's repeal with no teeth, as in it gives the administration and the LGBT groups the ability to claim "victory" in 2010, without actually freeing the members of the military who will continue to serve in silence. They have to wait for 1) the study to reach completion (what was likely to happen regardless) and a new wrinkle -- 2) an arbitrary time when the President, Gates and Mullen decide they know how to implement it without any ill effects, and the president signs an executive order signaling "go forth" with anti-discrimination measures. That's a pitiful half-measure. How about "it's an order?" The Obama administration has left the fate of service members in the hands of the Pentagon as the final arbiter -- and whoever was present working on our behalf as a community thinks this is palatable. Remember that.

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