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
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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"
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