Movement on DADT since President’s speech?

Posted on 13 Oct 2009 at 11:23am

Some activists criticized President Obama’s speech to the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington, D.C. on Saturday as just more promises with no concrete details or timetables to pass anything.

This morning, gaypolitics.com reports that the White House is talking to Sen. Joe Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.) about strategy to get rid of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Lieberman has opposed the policy since it was passed in 1993.

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Penn.) sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives that he introduced in March.

Lieberman did not receive the nomination of the Democratic Party in his last election, but retained his seat after a challenge by both a Democratic and a Republican. He is looking for a Democratic sponsor for the repeal bill in the Senate.

The Associated Press reported that Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) said that repeal is gaining momentum and expected it to pass by spring.

That support includes Rep. Joe Sestak (D.-Penn.). Sestak is the highest-ranking former military officer serving in Congress, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Under the Murphy bill, those discharged under “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will be allowed to re-enlist, if they are still eligible for service.

According to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, 13,500 members of the military have been discharged under DADT since 1993.

–David Taffet

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