Obama’s statement on tonight’s DADT votes

No one voted for repeal tonight. A lot of the media is getting this wrong, including the NYT. And titles like this one, on the President’s statement, don’t help.

Statement by the President on Votes to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

I have long advocated that we repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, and I am pleased that both the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee took important bipartisan steps toward repeal tonight. Key to successful repeal will be the ongoing Defense Department review, and as such I am grateful that the amendments offered by Representative Patrick Murphy and Senators Joseph Lieberman and Carl Levin that passed today will ensure that the Department of Defense can complete that comprehensive review that will allow our military and their families the opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process. Our military is made up of the best and bravest men and women in our nation, and my greatest honor is leading them as Commander-in-Chief. This legislation will help make our Armed Forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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38 Responses to “Obama’s statement on tonight’s DADT votes”

  1. I have a public blog. I will be surpassingly happy to concede that I was wrong, if on 28 May 2011 the military has implemented a nondiscrimination policy and discharges are history.

    If I forget, please visit and remind me. Please.

  2. What Congress is passing isn’t repeal, nor does it guarantee repeal, nor does it even guarantee nondiscriminatory policy change.

    Read first, then write.

  3. gayinmilitary says:

    I’ve been following the words of President Obama with respect to DADT since the campaign days and it has always concerned me greatly that none of his remarks on the subject have ever directly addressed the indignities that are suffered by gay and lesbian servicemembers or even address the issue as though it is an issue that is fundamental to human rights. He has consistently treated the issue as though it were akin to a federal budget disagreement or any other piece of legislation moving through Congress. He doesn’t even share the personal stories of gay and lesbian servicemembers suffering under DADT in the same way he shares the stories of unemployed folks in Indiana.

    For President Obama, DADT repeal is just another meaningless plank in the party platform — subject to all manners of negotiation and compromise. He doesn’t believe that gay and lesbians are truly suffering in their dishonest lives as servicemembers because he feels like it’s perfectly acceptable to prolong discriminatory practices for months, years, maybe even another decade more. He doesn’t worry that a gay solider will be ambushed in Afghanistan next week and die without having his partner included in the military’s process for mortuary affairs. He doesn’t care about the deployed servicemembers who are suffering right now because their loved ones have no support back home. All of these things can wait, and wait, and wait. President Obama will never acknowledge that there is any prolonged suffering associated with these indefinite delays.

    Even if we achieve a favorable outcome sometime next year for gay and lesbian servicemembers, time has well passed for President Obama to redeem himself on this issue. Through his words and inaction, he has already proven that he doesn’t have any real empathy for the plight of gay and lesbian servicemembers.

  4. Gridlock says:

    No, educate himself on this point:The fucking House and Senate are passing DADT repeal legislation and you guys act like it’s just smoke and mirrors! WTFThis is NOT repeal legislation. That is a fallacy. The rest is irrelevant and does not concern me.

  5. Guest says:

    Educate himself in what? Drama class? Please. You may personally loathe Obama, and you may view his treatment of DADT as inadequate, but citing Hitler (or, really, Orwell’s Big Brother) is hardly appropriate here.

  6. I just don’t care what Obama does any more. I stopped caring when his administration offered its infuriating and outrageous defense of DOMA, comparing gays to pedophiles. Since then I haven’t been able to get excited about anything he does or says. Fortunately for me, this latest half-way attempt at repealing DADT isn’t anything to get excited about anyway.

  7. dcinsider says:

    I have consistently criticized Obama’s handling of gay rights from the start. I have also criticized this awful compromise for precisely the same reasons many here explain. However, I part company and applaud Obama for this statement, which leaves little room for misinterpretation.

    I share the anger and concern that somehow and in some fashion, this compromise will get us screwed down the line, but, in an abundance of fairness, I say let’s wait and see what happens.

    This is the statement we should have had weeks ago, and Obama’s meddling has hurts this issue more than helped it, but let’s get this passed and keep the pressure for repeal on the President.

    Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of DADT.

  8. sonofloud says:

    Not to mention there is no date included in the so called compromise so this is a promise to repeal DADT and nothing more.
    I’ll celebrate when Obama, the Pentagon, and the Secretary of Defense (and who ever else they add to avoid taking responsibility for it) sign the actual repeal.

  9. sonofloud says:

    Just because someone has a (D) next to their name doesn’t automatically mean they deserve our support.

  10. sonofloud says:

    Dan Choi is against the so called compromise and he seems to get most of the media attention these days so that is good.
    It is just so typical of Obama, he is the last person to actually do anything but the first to try and claim credit for it, just like with the Mathew Shephard Act.

  11. Brian says:

    The discharges should be suspended pending the Pentagon review. If the Democrats thought that this controversy would just end, they are wrong. Discharges are a stain on the nation.

  12. Gridlock says:

    Why ever would that be?

    *feigns surprise*

  13. Gridlock says:

    Remember that the Democratic Party did act, and we have to remember them for that, and work to get them win their election. There was no critic more angry than me, but I am willing to stand down right now to help them win the midterms.

    How vomitously rehearsed and studied does this feel. Honestly.

  14. Gridlock says:

    “Democrats, saying Republicans were mischaracterizing the proposal, noted that it would not be implemented if the Pentagon leadership determined that it would disrupt military readiness, unit cohesion or recruiting.”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/us/politics/2

    How much do any of you want to bet that’s EXACTLY what will happen.

  15. Gridlock says:

    Educate yourself.

  16. gayinmilitary says:

    And then worked behind the scenes to undermine repeal in the following months. Actions speak louder than words.

  17. gayinmilitary says:

    I’m glad you think they military review will be a rubber stamp. Unfortunately, you have no facts to characterize that process as such. Every fact available about the Comprehensive Review Working Group indicates that it is working to undermine the repeal effort and maintain a discriminatory posture towards gays and lesbians in the military.

  18. gayinmilitary says:

    Actually, they haven’t polled the servicemembers yet. They’ve held town halls at the Pentagon and Camp Lejeune. They’ve opened up an online forum where servicemembers can comment (but only if they’re logged onto a DOD computer with their ID card). They whole point of the DOD survey seems to be one that amplifies homophobic voices without any consideration to gay and lesbian servicemembers.

  19. Indigo says:

    That’s just creepy. First, the incumbent won’t man up and abolish DADT because the Congress has a law to repeal and now the Congress won’t repeal the law because that’s a decision for the Executive branch. Hot potato!

  20. zorbear says:

    “…but only straight military personnel and their families will “inform and shape” anything in this process.”

    How could it be anything else? Gay “families” don’t exist in the military – remember?

  21. zorbear says:

    and what will you do when mid-terms come and go, and you discover that “now is not the time…”?

  22. Brian says:

    I am pleased with the Democratic Party today. They were asked to repeal the policy, and I think they have enacted legislation that will mean an end to the policy

    It is better for the top brass to sign off in a few months because it will will ownership to the military for its success.

    We fought very hard for this when HRC was giving the Administration a pass. So some celebration is in order. Remember that the Democratic Party did act, and we have to remember them for that, and work to get them win their election. There was no critic more angry than me, but I am willing to stand down right now to help them win the midterms.

  23. zorbear says:

    Of course – they’ve already polled the servicemen/women and found they were okay with it. So now they’ve added the “families” to the mix. If that turns out okay, then they’ll add “and neighbors”… then, “other countries”…and finally – the martians (who are known homophobes)!

    Eventually they’ll find someone who will agree that “now is not the time..”

  24. zorbear says:

    Don’t worry – time will cure your little problem…By this time next year you’ll be absolutely certain.

  25. zorbear says:

    After another year has passed, one of you will be proven wrong. It’ll be interesting to see if that person stands up and says “Okay – I admit it: I was wrong and s/he was right.”

    (Like that’s gonna happen…)

  26. Rjheid says:

    “allow…military FAMILIES to inform and shape the implementation process”–are you kidding me???

  27. existenz says:

    Those quotes have absolutely no connection to today’s events. Orwellian propaganda? The fucking House and Senate are passing DADT repeal legislation and you guys act like it’s just smoke and mirrors! WTF

  28. existenz says:

    Bigots? Gates and Mullen both came out in support of repeal earlier this year.

  29. existenz says:

    Completely failed? You guys are in loony tunes land. In the 2nd year of his presidency we are seeing DADT repeal (yes, repeal, the military review is a rubber stamp) getting passed just like we all wanted. Did it happen fast? No. Is it happening? Yes. Enjoy the victory people!

  30. dddanno says:

    I have to say I’m pissed off about how this thing has developed and I’m extremely disappointed with the ‘compromise’ we’ve reached. Yet, I have to disagree on the president’s remarks. I think it helps when Obama talks about the repeal as inevitable even when the legislation is conditional.

    I’m swimming in a pool of ambivalence here, but half of the people I talk to think DADT is already repealed because of the few weak things Obama has said this year. This doesn’t help the people currently serving but it does set the stage for the immense yawn when DADT finally ends.

    Obama has completely failed the test of leadership in repealing DADT this year. But given the current compromise I think his statement is in fact an effective way forward.

    But then maybe I’m trying too hard to climb out of ambivalence.

  31. David S. says:

    “. . . comprehensive review that will allow our military and their families the opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process”

    I understand why members of the armed forces are being allowed to “inform and shape” the implementation of the policy, although I can’t recall any other instance of the miltary’s seeking such input on any other personnel or eligibility issue.

    But what I can’t fathom is why the FAMILIES of members of the armed forces are shaping and informing implementation. First, who is family? Spouses? Minor children? Aunts and uncles? Adult children who have moved on? Second, what do any of these people have to add to the discussion on repeal of DADT? The one and only issue I can think of is whether some military wife would object to the presence of a gay soldier’s partner as a next door neighbor in military housing. I cannot come up with any other aspect of repeal that would impact families. And the housing issue is complete bullcrap, since repealing DADT does not obligate the military to change housing polices, house gay partners in barracks, or recognize gay unions. Those are all separate issues that may be addressed later if the military chooses, soliciting whatever views are pertinent. These fake issues were thrown out by Sec. Gates in a transparent attempt to undermine repeal, and Obama let him do it.

  32. Bose says:

    “…comprehensive review that will allow our military and their families the opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process”

    Heinously incomplete crap. I know the point has been beaten to death, but only straight military personnel and their families will “inform and shape” anything in this process.

    How long would it have taken after 1948 if Truman had invited white servicemen and their families to “inform and shape” the process of integrating the forces?

  33. “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”
    — Adolf Hitler

    “Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
    — George Orwell

  34. “Extending Federal Benefits to LGBT workers” redux.

  35. admnaismith says:

    ‘I have long advocated that we repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’,…’
    And yet, Obama does nothing proactive to change it.

    Now is the time, MR. PRESIDENT, now is the time for you to do something.
    Like ordering the military to integrate, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, order the military to integrate.
    Ask Congress for a bill to sign to repeal DADT, MR PARTY LEADER, ask for a repeal bill.

    In case you haven’t noticed, OBAMA, you have all the power here to make this happen. Advocated, my ass…

  36. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says:

    SLDN:

    WARNING WARNING DANGER DANGER WARNING WARNING

    Do not try to adjust your set.

    Do NOT come out.

    “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” remains the law until this process is complete.

    Lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members are still being discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and they will continue to be discharged until this process is complete.

    Do NOT come out.

    “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” remains the law until this process is complete.

    Lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members are still being discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and they will continue to be discharged until this process is complete.

  37. JohnnyG says:

    “This legislation will help make our Armed Forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity.”

    This legislation allows no such thing. What it allows is two bigots, Gates and Mullen, to block gay soldiers from serving openly. It allows you more time to drag your feet on it too. Not quite the same thing, lying bastard.

  38. Gridlock says:

    deliberate misinformation campaign

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