Deal to End Ban On Gays in Military Takes Shape

Postby Wizard CaT » Mon May 24, 2010 8:59 pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... TopStories

LAURA MECKLER wrote:The White House and leading lawmakers came to an agreement Monday about how to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, likely speeding the end of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Backers were optimistic that they could this week attach the amendment to a broader defense funding bill expected to pass this year.

The bill wouldn't immediately repeal the Clinton-era policy. Rather, it would take effect as soon as a Pentagon review is complete and the president signs off on the military's recommendations for how to undertake the change in policy.

President Barack Obama and Pentagon leaders have already said they were committed to ending the policy and allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces. But in order to lift the ban, Congress must act as well. If the proposed legislation becomes law, the change can occur once the review is finished.

Gay rights activists have been frustrated with the pace of the repeal effort and lack of progress on other items on their agenda, and they cheered Monday's development as a big step forward.

"We are on the brink of historic action to both strengthen our military and respect the service of lesbian and gay troops," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

The amendment says that the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must certify that the new policy is consistent with standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, military recruiting and retention.

Those assurances were enough to satisfy the Pentagon, White House budget director Peter Orszag said in a letter to the congressional sponsors, Sens. Carl Levin (D., Mich) and Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.).

"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.

Senate aides working on the matter said the amendment would be offered later this week on the National Defense Authorization Act, which is now in the Armed Forces Committee. They said they were optimistic that they would have sufficient support.

If sponsors succeed in attaching the provision to the bill in committee, aides said, it would require 60 votes to remove it during the full Senate debate, which is unlikely.

"We are committed to repealing `Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' a policy that has forced thousands of gay men and women from serving openly in our Armed Forces," said a statement Monday from Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Murphy. "It is our firm belief that it is time to repeal this discriminatory policy."

Opponents of gay rights were dismayed. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins called the agreement "a back room deal that disregards the views of our troops and uses the military to advance the political agenda of a radical special interest group."

Write to Laura Meckler at laura.meckler@wsj.com


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Re: Deal to End Ban On Gays in Military Takes Shape

Postby Alfador » Mon May 24, 2010 10:48 pm

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins called the agreement "a back room deal that disregards the views of our troops and uses the military to advance the political agenda of a radical special interest group."


"...a back room deal..." Funny, they seem to be rather open about what's going on.

"...that disregards the views of our troops..." And here I thought this was meant to help our troops. Oh, sorry, you meant only the straight, Christian, homophobic troops because really, they're the only ones that matter to you.

"...uses the military..." I missed the part where the military was being used here; Congress is simply going to make a decision that affects their composition and regulations, not ordering them to go and shoot at a particular country or anything.

"...agenda of a radical special interest group." And here's that "gay agenda" creature again that only Christian homophobe groups seem to actually know about. Can I call religious nutjobs a "radical special interest group" if it makes my position sound better? Thaaaaaanks.
Arf! *wagwagwag*
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Re: Deal to End Ban On Gays in Military Takes Shape

Postby Coda » Tue May 25, 2010 7:44 am

Alfador wrote:Can I call religious nutjobs a "radical special interest group" if it makes my position sound better?

By all means, please do.
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Re: Deal to End Ban On Gays in Military Takes Shape

Postby Ashes » Sun May 30, 2010 10:20 am

Wizard CaT wrote:
LAURA MECKLER wrote:The White House and leading lawmakers came to an agreement Monday about how to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, likely speeding the end of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.


YAY!

Although a small part of me is saying "shoot, there goes my easy way out."
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