Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Status of DADT Repeal: A Summary

Last year I was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle saying there would be "hell to pay" if Obama did not follow through with his promise to repeal DADT in 2010.

Obama raised the stakes by including the following quote in his State of the Union address this year:
"This year I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are — it’s the right thing to do."
Wonder Man parses this statement to say that Obama is not committing to repeal DADT this year, just to work to finally repeal, which to me is a possible (but ultimate unreasonable) interpretation of what the President said.

When he was in Los Angeles last week for a fundraising event for Senator Barbara Boxer, Obama was famously heckled by activists from GetEqual and responded (angrily, according to some observers):
"But let me say this, when you've got an ally like Barbara Boxer and you've got an ally like me who are standing for same thing, then you don't know exactly why you've got to holler because we already hear you[.]" [he responded] "It would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it."
Now, activists have started to focus on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where 15 votes are required to pass a DADT repeal measure, presumably at a meeting in mid-May.

Human Rights Campaign, whose executive director promised a 2010 repeal of DADT would happen this year back in February, has released their target list of 6 Senators:
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) (202) 224-5623
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) (202) 224-4543
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) (202) 224-3954
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) (202) 224-6551
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) (202) 224-5274
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) (202) 224-4024

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