Deal to Repeal DADT Would Allow Gay Soldiers to Serve Openly
May 25, 2010
(ChattahBox)— With the total repeal of the controversial military policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” in apparent political limbo, until the completion of the Pentagon review; the White House struck a surprise deal this week to vote on repealing the measure banning gays, as early as Thursday. The deal was forged by the White House, congressional lawmakers and the Department of the Defense, to hold a vote to wipe the odious DADT law off the books, but not implement the repeal until the Pentagon’s evaluation is completed on Dec 1.
Both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, support a repeal of the policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly, but Gates requested more time with a study, to ease the military through the transition. The White House compromise allows the study to go forward, while still permitting lawmakers to hold a vote.
White House budget director Peter Orszag, issued a statement in support of the compromise:
“Such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions,” he wrote.
But it’s questionable if the amendment repealing DADT could pass through both congressional chambers. Most Republicans oppose a repeal of the policy and a group of blue dog Democrats prefer to wait until the Pentagon study is complete in December.
However, the political momentum is moving towards an eventual repeal of DADT. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), a military veteran, is leading the way for repeal in the House, with plans to attach the DADT repeal measure to the defense authorization bill. And Murphy, says he has the votes he needs to pass the measure.
And Sen. Lieberman (I-CT) of the Senate Armed Services Committee supports the amendment. “It is our firm belief that it is time to repeal this discriminatory policy that not only dishonors those who are willing to give their lives in service to their country but also prevents capable men and women with vital skills from serving in the armed forces,” said Lieberman.