DoD: Looking for Flexibility in DADT

Timothy Kincaid

June 30th, 2009

The American Forces Press Service is reporting that the President and Defense Secretary Gates are looking for ways to find flexibility in the Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell law that bans openly gay servicemembers. (transcript)

“What we have is a law, not a policy or regulation,” Gates said. “And as I discovered when I got into it, it is a very prescriptive law. It doesn\’t leave a lot to the imagination or a lot of flexibility. So one of the things we are looking at is, Is there flexibility in how we apply this law?”

Gates cited the example of someone who\’s been “outed by a third party,” possibly the result of blackmail or a jilting.

“Does that force us to take an action?” he questioned. “I don\’t know the answer to that. I don\’t want to pretend to. But that is the kind of thing we are looking at.”

It sounds as though the community’s very vocal and visible disgust with the administration may be beginning to give impetus to some action. If nothing else (and it is a bare minimum) the administration may be acting on the demands of 77 members of Congress who wrote a letter insisting that the military honor the “Don’t Pursue” part of the law and that witch hunts not be initiated based on “tip”, slurs, and insinuations from people outside of the military.

And if there’s one more thing the President can do, it is this:

1. Pick up the telephone and call Rep. Ellen Tauscher Rep. Patrick Murphy. Tell her him you’ll support HR1283, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act and that he should move forward.

2. Call a meeting with Rep. Taucher Murphy, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker of the House Pelosi and tell them that it’s time to pass this bill.

3. Announce in a press conference that you’ve heard the will of the people, Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative, all of whom support overturning the ban. Use language about discrimination and the best interest of the military. Tell the stories of the men and women who were linguists and medical personnel who were sorely needed but sacrificed to bigotry.

Come to think of it, if you go that route you don’t have to worry about flexibility at all.

(hat tip Stefano)

Update: The lead on this bill has been assigned to Rep. Patrick Murphy

Stefano A

June 30th, 2009

Just an FYI . . .

When I commented in the other thread and cited the AFP article the transcript of the press conference wasn’t online yet.

The transcript has now been posted by the Dod on their web site which shows Gates comments in the context of a Q&A.

Press Conference with Secretary Gates En Route From Germany(Tue, 30 Jun 2009 18:37:00 -0500

David

June 30th, 2009

I agree with most of this, but one part stands out as being a bit Orwellian in its denial of reality.

Holding a press conference and stating that conservatives support overturning DADT? What conservatives? Wander over to FreeRepublic.com and see if any of those conservatives support overturning it.

Let me quote Edward R. Murrow: “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.”

Besides, I don’t want to let conservatives off the hook when this issue and this era is reflected upon in another 50 years. There was a time when racial discrimination and miscegenation laws were supported by conservatives as being common sense. Today they are viewed as an abhorrent shame in the history of America’s social justice.

I don’t want anyone trying to claim, 50 years from now, that conservatives were anything but belligerently opposed to overturning DADT.

Burr

June 30th, 2009

If you’ve seen any of the recent polls on DADT you’d know that yes, even Republicans/conservatives support its repeal by a sizable majority. So it is very believable.

It’s absurd that Congress is so cowardly to take action in light of the overwhelming support of their constituency to move on this issue.

Timothy Kincaid

June 30th, 2009

David,

A Gallop Poll in June showed that 58% of self-identified “conservatives” said “favor” to:

Do you favor or oppose allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military.

Jim Burroway

June 30th, 2009

That same Gallup poll also found that 60% of weekly church goers, 58% of Republicans also were in favor of repealing DADT.

Leonard Drake

June 30th, 2009

In response to both of those polls concerning self-identified “conservatives,” weekly church-goers, and Republicans: what percentage of ACTUAL conservative voters support the repeal of DADT? Do data collected via exit polls suggest equivalent conservative support for DADT repeal? More, less? Or does such information not exist?

I pose these questions as Congressional representatives in opposition to the repeal of DADT often cite they are representing the “will of the voters” (as opposed to some “survey”). Even so, exit polls are still surveys just the same.

Elizabeth

July 1st, 2009

I’m pretty sure Tauscher has gone to the State Department, or that she will be very soon…

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1951: California Gay Bars Given Very Brief Reprieve

Today In History, 1965: Gay Rights Advocates Picket the State Department

Today In History, 1987: Arsonists Burn Florida Family Home of Three Brothers with AIDS

Born On This Day, 1825: Karl Heinrich Ulrichs

Born On this Day, 1921: Nancy Kulp

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 2006: NARTH Official Recommends Peer Shaming for Gender-Variant Elementary School Children

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.