Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One Step Closer to Repealing DADT

In some instances, news is better than no news. With respect to the U.S. government's ban on gays serving openly in the military, the news that emerged late yesterday was better. It appears that the Congressional Democrats leading the charge on repealing DADT have worked out a deal with gay rights organizations and the White House.

Here is the text of the compromise that I found at both Americablog and Pam's House Blend.

I was surprised to see that there was no specific language banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. I was also surprised to read that there was no specific time table for completing the step necessary to remove DADT from the book, as there is for the additional "study" that has been commissioned. Does this mean that once all of the conditions are met, and the law is repeal, that Obama will then issue an Executive Order mirroring what Truman did in 1948? Again, it's that lack of clear language saying that discrimination based on sexual orientation that is missing, and makes me a little uncomfortable. Meanwhile, as this study is being conducted, I hope that we are looking at the militaries of our allies to see how allowing gays to serve openly has worked over the years.

I am really glad to see movement on this. And I think that the concurrent, though not always coordinated, actions of the various gay rights groups helped to move this forward.

UPDATE (05.26.10): I just finished reading this excellent analysis of the whole DADT compromise from The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld. She mentions one thing that I did not think of, and that was that the compromise says nothing about what happens to the gays currently in the military. It seems that all things remain unchanged. And she adds weight to my wondering about a post repeal Executive Order, which would give Obama better press. What I do find very disturbing, however, is the clear disinterest on the part of the Executive Branch on this subject. Obama really was just talking the talk, and there is no way around that. It confirms for me the notion that gay issues in this administration are seen as politically dangerous. The tea party people might have a better shot at getting the real attention of this White House, if they came with the holy grail of "bipartisanship"(though it's more likely that the tea party set would adopt the tenets of the Black Panther Party before they would consider offering anything resembling help for this President).

No comments: