President Obama just said in his press conference, referring to DADT repeal, that people get all upset and think something isn’t happening if it doesn’t happen immediately.
Sorry, but that bird isn’t gonna fly.
DADT repeal was dead in the water. The President’s plan to wait until 2011, endorsed by HRC, was scotched by the GOP takeover of the House – something a lot of us predicted, or at least fretted about, a good year ago. The President and HRC decided to have the Pentagon do a study, due in December, a month after the 2010 elections, thinking they could handle repeal in 2011. They were wrong.
Repeal didn’t take a long time because that was part of the plan. The legislation passed because we got lucky. As you’ll recall, it was dead, having been filibustered repeatedly by the GOP. The only reason it came back up, at the very last minute, was because the GOP filibustered the continuing resolution and Harry Reid had had it, pulled the CR, and suddenly there was one last final chance for DADT repeal (or something short of repeal) to pass.
You’ll recall that HRC sent out an email in December basically calling repeal dead for the year. Was that part of the secret plan too? Here’s HRC’s email, dated December 9, 4:52pm, sent out at literally the same moment that Lieberman, Udall and Collins were announced a last minute effort to get a stand-alone bill passed. HRC had no idea the stand-alone bill was even coming. They thought DADT repeal was dead in the Congress. So with all due respect, the “plan” failed.
HRC seems to have forgotten its own email of two months ago. Today, in their magazine, HRC is now claiming that DADT repeal was all part of a well-oiled plan. Uh huh. That’s why HRC announced that repeal was dead just as the legislation, that was ultimately to pass, was being announced. Here’s their magazine today:
A WHITE HOUSE MEETING IN NOVEMBER 2009….
What’s crucial to note, says HRC’s Smith, is that the gears to repeal started rolling intensively in November 2009. That’s when Solmonese, along with Smith, met with Jim Messina, one of President Obama’s deputy chiefs of staff, in his White House office. Solmonese stressed to Messina that HRC was ready to mount a massive campaign to get “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed in 2010. It was after this meeting that things began to move, said Smith.
Yeah right. Good try, though.
So, please, stop the “it was all part of our plan” stuff. It wasn’t. If it weren’t for GetEqual, Dan Choi, the gay blogs, our straight blog allies, groups like SLDN, .SU and Palm Center, and lots of current and former gay servicemembers, DADT repeal would not still be on the table.
In anticipation of Thursday’s marriage equality hearing before the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee, the National Organization For Marriage is asking readers to email that body’s members, House Speaker Bill O’Brien, and House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt:
And for once, we totally agree with NOM. Because we think fair-minded New Hampshirites and all concerned neighbors should also email all of those same people and ask why the state’s most prominent anti-equality/pro-repeal group, the NOM-aligned Cornerstone Action (sure to be represented at Thursday’s hearing), is encouraging scientifically discredited ‘ex-gay” therapy on its website:
WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah has published the February issue of his side project Whistleblower, which is a contains all the lies and distortions about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal in one tidy edition.
Shortly after his CPAC appearance, former defense secretary Donald “War Criminal” Rumsfeld endorsed the repeal of DADT.
“First of all, we know that gays and lesbians have been serving in the military for decades with honorable service,” Rumsfeld said. “We know that [repeal of a ban on gays serving openly] is an idea whose time has come.” Rumsfeld says he has “enormous respect” for the ground commanders and service chiefs who have expressed concerns about the impact of gays serving openly on unit cohesion, and he urged the top brass to implement the new law “with care.” But Rumsfeld says that congress, which passed the repeal bill in the waning days of the last session, has expressed the will of the American people.
A memo put out by the Pentagon today provides insight into how the armed services plans to officially and credibly implement Don't Ask, Don't Tell's repeal.
The Washington Blade reports that military services secretaries have until the first of March to offer progress updates to Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness Clifford Stanley, who will then work with them through a process that has four clearly delineated stages: pre-repeal, certification, implementation and sustainment.
In the pre-repeal phase, activities include Tier 1 and Tier 2 level training of military leadership and reporting to Obama administration officials on the progress of implementation. For example, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness must have a monthly meeting and report to the defense secretary and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the status of repeal.
To reach the certification phase, the Repeal Implementation Team must provide appropriate documentation to the defense secretary and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and provide their recommendation to the president. … Notably, the plan states the previously mentioned idea that Tier 3 training, education of the total force, can be completed after the certification for repeal is issued.
For the implementation phase, Tier 3 training will be completed and the Repeal Implementation Team will provide progress reports every two months to Pentagon leaders.
The sustainment phase involves making policy changes as needed and refining the education and training process.
After implementation has been "certified," it will take another 60 days until DADT has officially been repealed, so this is but the beginning of what the Pentagon admits is a complicated process.
In response to a memo from the Secretary of Defense on January 28th, the Under Secretary of Defense Clifford Stanley issued a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal implementation plan last Friday. This plan became public yesterday when it was included in a memo from the Under Secretary to military officials. The plan walks through the major events and key tasks that must take place in each phase of implementation. It addresses policy implementation, training and education of the force, and internal and external communications necessary during each phase.
The first progress update on repeal implementation is due to the Under Secretary by March 1. In the meantime, the Under Secretary states that military leaders “will work together to solidify the format of progress updates as well as the frequency of leadership meetings.” The progress updates will include, at minimum, information on units trained, personnel trained, status of updated regulations, and other preparation activities as required.
Notably, the plan does not require all service members to be trained and educated on repeal prior to final repeal. Instead, repeal can occur as soon as training and education of service members begins and a plan for completion is in place. That said, the plan requires that military experts, such as judge advocates and military equal opportunity advisors, and military leaders, such as commanding officers and civilian supervisors, are fully trained and educated prior to final repeal.
The repeal implementation plan also requires the military to engage stakeholders, such as advocacy organizations, during the pre-repeal phase – the current phase of the plan. In addition, it acknowledges that congressional hearings on implementation may begin during the certification process. Finally, it recognizes that it the military may need to continue to tweak their policies regarding lesbian and gay service members following implementation, as well as revise education and training programs for sustained education and training efforts.
Upon news that the President will announce in tonight’s State of the Union that open service by gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the U.S. Armed Forces will begin this year, HRC President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:
“Very soon, what will matter in the U.S. military is how you do your job, not your sexual orientation. Last year the President committed to working with Congress to repeal the ban on open service by gay, lesbian and bisexual people and tonight’s announcement is welcome news for all Americans ready to close the book on discrimination in the ranks. Not only does repeal mean troops will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, but our nation will be stronger with the best and brightest able to serve in uniform. Tonight is the culmination of a promise kept by this President.
“The issue most prevalent in tonight’s speech was jobs and with discrimination in the military soon behind us, there remain a number of pressing issues for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community when it comes to economic security. The President and Congress can do much more to ensure the economic empowerment of LGBT people including ending the unfair taxation of partner health benefits, prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and ensuring that all married couples have access to the same federal benefits and protections for their families. We look forward to working with this President and allies in Congress on the challenges ahead.”
Republican state Sen. Chris Buttars has introduced a bill that would repeal the Salt Lake City school board’s recently instituted anti-bullying rules. Pride In Utah reports:
Speaking at a meeting for the anti-gay group Eagle Forum, Buttars said: “We’re in big trouble in our public education system. I didn’t realize how much until a month ago when I was asked to chair public education appropriations,” said Buttars. “We met and when we got done we were all so terrified we couldn’t believe it. This was right under our nose.” “By accepting that, there’s no God because he deals in absolutes,” said Buttars. “This is an entire program to bring America down and I want to tell you right now it’s well entrenched in Utah.” Other speakers at the Eagle Forum called the anti-bullying and non discrimination policies a “Socialist and Communist plot to take over children.”
Pride In Utah will stage a protest rally at the Utah Capitol Building on January 24th, the first day of the legislative session.
RELATED: We’ve heard from Buttars before. He has called the “sexual perversion” of homosexuality “the greatest threat to America I know of.” Buttars also wants to eliminate the 12th grade because kids know everything they need by then. And in 2008 when referring a bill that would increase funding to minority school districts, he said, “This baby is black. It’s a dark, ugly thing.”