Renewed Hope for DADT Repeal: Early Release of Pentagon Report
November 22, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—Will our nation’s military finally be free from the discriminatory yoke of the odious policy that prevents gay men and women from serving openly? All signs point to a senatorial repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” before the end of the year. With several Republican lawmakers stepping up to do the right thing and a renewed determination by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to forge ahead with the defense spending bill intact with the repeal language, repeal suddenly seems possible. And Defense Secretary Robert Gates just provided repeal supporters with a Christmas gift, by agreeing to release the DADT troop survey one day early.
The early release of the comprehensive troop survey that’s expected to support DADT repeal, would give lawmakers and members of the Senate Armed Services time to read the report before holding hearings. It doesn’t sound like much, but even an extra day is critical during a short lame-duck session. Besides hearings, the senate will need to hold a two-week debate session, allowing amendments, before a final vote is brought to the floor and time is short. A START treaty vote, as well as a possible vote on extending the Bush tax cuts is also packed into the cramped calendar.
The Washington Post writes:
“Gates “has instructed his staff, without cutting any corners, to have everything ready a day sooner because he wants to ensure members of the Armed Services Committee are able to read and consider the complex, lengthy report before holding hearings with its authors and the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Morrell said in a statement.”
“The report is expected to conclude that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to sources who shared details of the report with The Washington Post.”
The leaked report showed that a significant majority of those surveyed believe openly gay soldiers would not negatively impact combat operations. With a federal judge ruling that DADT is unconstitutional, legislative repeal is the final step to forever bury a policy that denies equal rights to the LGBT community.
Now, if Reid and other senators can overcome the homophobia of Republican lawmakers, led by Sen. John McCain (AZ), institutionalized discrimination against gay service men and women will come to an end.