What’s Brewing: NY marriage lottery results; DADT repeal certification; Kay Bailey Hutchison

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. All 823 couples who played the New York City marriage lottery have won! The lottery initially guaranteed only 764 slots on Sunday — the first day same-sex marriage will be legal in the Empire State. But NYC officials now say they’ll accommodate all couples who entered, although 74 who signed up to wed in Manhattan will have to travel to another borough. For more on the start of same-sex marriage in New York, check out Yonkers native David Taffet’s round-up from Thursday.

2. After 18 long years and some 15,000 discharges, the Pentagon and President Barack Obama are set to put the final nail in the coffin of “don’t ask, don’t tell” today. Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are expected to certify the repeal of DADT when they meet in the Oval Office this afternoon, which would begin a 60-day waiting period before the policy officially — and finally — comes to an end. According to our calendar, that means the big day will be Sept. 20, which happens to be just two days after Dallas Pride. Is it too late to change this year’s theme?

3. If not, perhaps they can just turn Pride into a retirement party for Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who told MSNBC this morning that she objects to the Pentagon’s decision to certify DADT repeal. “I really don’t think we should be putting people who are in harm’s way, in very close quarters, in any kind of uncomfortable position,” Hutchison said. “I think it is not the right decision, but it’s a decision that’s been made.” Watch video from ThinkProgress below:

—  John Wright

UPDATE: Hutchison to vote against DADT repeal because ‘FORMER leaders’ of military oppose it

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s office sent over the following statement this afternoon in response to our inquiry about her position on a standalone measure to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell.”

“I will not support a repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy,” Hutchison said. “After speaking with military personnel and former leaders of our armed services, I remain very concerned about how repealing this policy could negatively impact unit cohesion and overall troop readiness — especially during a time of war.”

It’s interesting that Hutchison doesn’t identify the “military personnel” or “former leaders” with whom she claims to have spoken. We know, for example, that she’s repeatedly refused to meet with Dave Guy-Gainer, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant who lives in Tarrant County. According to a recently released Pentagon study, the “military personnel” who spoke to Hutchison are in the minority. Furthermore, why would she speak with “former leaders of our armed services” instead of current ones? The top two current military leaders, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, both support DADT repeal. And all of the current service chiefs say repeal would be no problem.

So can someone please explain WTF she’s talking about?

UPDATE: Maybe she’s been spending too much time with homophobic Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos.

—  John Wright

Defense secretary urges Congress not to repeal 'don't ask don't tell' this year

There was some bad news concerning “don’t ask don’t tell” Friday afternoon.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are telling Congress they’re “strongly opposed” to repealing the ban until the Pentagon has completed its review of the repeal’s impact.

Their statements came in an April 30 letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., who’d inquired about the potential for a repeal as part of this year’s Defense Authorization Act.

“I hope Congress will not do so, as it would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, concerns, and perspectives do not matter on an issue with such a direct impact and consequence for them and their families,” Gates and Mullen wrote in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Because the Pentagon’s review won’t be completed until December, this means Gates and Mullen don’t want to see DADT repealed until next year. But if Democrats lose seats in November elections, there may not be enough votes to repeal the law in 2011. Some say this timeline would push a DADT repeal back until at least 2013, when the law will turn 20 years old.

While the letter is disappointing, it’s not the first time Gates has gone on record opposing a 2010 repeal of DADT. And the letter doesn’t specifically say whether Gates would support a “delayed implementation” repeal of DADT, which would pass this year but wouldn’t take effect until after the Pentagon review is complete.

The letter comes in advance of a major protest of DADT  planned for Sunday outside the White House.

In response to Gates’ letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday evening called for an immediate moratorium on discharges under DADT.

“We all look forward to the report on the review of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy by the Defense Department. In the meantime, the Administration should immediately place a moratorium on dismissals under this policy until the review has been completed and Congress has acted,” Pelosi said in the statement.

After the jump, responses to Gates’ letter from the White House, the Human Rights Campaign and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, as well as the full text of the letter.

—  John Wright