Dave Gainer is officially starting to implode. Gainer, a local board member for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, told the Voice last week that if “don’t ask don’t tell” isn’t repealed this year, “I’m going to implode.” Well no sooner had our story on Gainer come out, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued a crushing blow to any possible repeal of the ban on open military service in 2010. In case you were already off to happy hour when the blow hit, Gates basically wrote a letter to Congress telling lawmakers not to even think about repealing DADT until a Pentagon study of the impact is complete. The study won’t be finished until December, which means a repeal couldn’t happen until next year. But since we’ll undoubtedly lose votes in Congress in November elections, such a delay would effectively push back a potential repeal until after the 2012 elections — which means 2013. Now then, here’s Gainer’s reaction, fresh from the Inbox:
Secretary Gates and the president in separate language this past weekend espoused delaying congressional action on the repeal of DADT. Delay is not an action verb! I suppose it is, though if you consider that every day that DADT remains law, another LGB patriot is fired and their very soul crushed. In that sense, delay is action – perverse, bigoted, hateful action. So, I cannot personally accept any timeline nor proposal that further delays the demise of DADT. Certainly not one that suggests that Congress should take NO action until the DOD completes its study. The president, the secretary of defense, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the speaker and 189 members of the House, and senior senators all have said that this law must end, and this discrimination stop. The DOD Working Group is proceeding smartly with its study of HOW to implement inclusion and not IF. I am certain there are many elements that they must study. But, in my mind, there should be a date certain when implementation shall begin. [SLDN executive director] Aubrey Sarvis’ recommended timeline makes sense — pass a bill now that declares a date certain. Codify the DOD study as being an implementation study. Use the Dec. 1 date as the date that DOD is directed to implement the law giving DOD no more than 60 days hence to achieve full inclusion. The attachment of HR 1283 to the defense budget is certainly one vehicle to be considered. But politically looming are the mid-term elections in November. Will our politicians duck for cover with that in consideration? We need to keep the pressure on both houses of Congress and fortify HR 1283 and SR 3065. We must not wait until Dec. 1 to take action.