This development came in late this afternoon (while yours truly was enjoying a lovely dinner and trying to forget that his basic rights still get debated in courts, Senate chambers, and Oval Offices):
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2010
Statement by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Justice Department filing in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America
Today, the Department of Justice made a filing in a legal challenge to the Don’t Ask, Don’t tell (DADT) policy, as it traditionally does when acts of Congress are challenged. This filing in no way diminishes the President’s firm commitment to achieve a legislative repeal of DADT – indeed, it clearly shows why Congress must act to end this misguided policy. The President was disappointed earlier this week when a majority of the Senate was willing to proceed with National Defense Authorization Act, but political posturing created a 60 vote threshold. The President spoke out against DADT in his first State of the Union Address, and the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have both testified in support of repeal. And the Department of Defense continues to work on a plan on how to implement repeal. The President, along with his Administration, will continue to work with the Senate Leadership to achieve a legislative repeal of DADT as outlined in the NDAA this fall.
This isn’t an appeal — seems to be more of a heads up, likely meant to minimize emotion at a time when the LGBT community’s DADT wound makes gaping ones seem taut by comparison. How’d they do?
*This reaction from Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the named veteran plaintiff in the Log Cabin lawsuit:
“President Obama is certainly taking his so called ‘duty to defend’ this anti-gay military policy as far as he possibly can. Two blows from the White House in one week is a bit much. First, the president cannot find the time to make any phone calls to senators to help us avoid a crushing loss on Tuesday, although he does manage to find the time to call the WNBA national champions to congratulate them on their victory. Then, the president once again goes much farther than he has to in defense of the discriminatory and unconstitutional ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law. When is the White House finally going to get serious about repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?’ We needed help this week, and our Commander-in-Chief and ‘fierce advocate’ was AWOL.”
Though to be fair: The WNBA does ply the White House with a steady supply of those big, foam ‘We’re Number 1″ novelty fingers. The best we can deliver is a long list of brave men and women who have been cruelly discharged by a nation that’s routinely failing to deliver on its fair and equal promises. Such a downer we are.