The Obama administration is telling the Pentagon and gay-rights advocates that it will have to study the implications for national security and enlist more support in Congress before trying to overturn the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" law and allow gays to serve openly in the military, according to people involved in the discussions.
They said Obama, who pledged during the campaign to overturn the law, does not want to ask lawmakers to do so until the military has completed a comprehensive assessment of the impact that such a move would have on military discipline. Then, the president hopes to be able to make a case to members of both parties that overturning the 1993 law would be in the best interest of national security.
If you have worked in government or have been involved in activism, you know that ordering studies is a common bureaucratic tactic to avoid action while looking like you are doing something. The time frame is uncertain, but it is sounding ominous.
At the Pentagon, officials say they have been told not to expect the administration to seek to lift the ban quickly. One senior officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said staff officers for Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been told it will be several months at the earliest - possibly not even this year - until the top brass will be formally asked to weigh in on a change in policy.The top brass may not be asked to state their views until 2010 or later???
This sounds like postponing an actual repeal of DADT indefinitely. Given Obama's invitation of the dangerous homophobe, Rick Warren, to play a prominent role in the inauguration and Obama's complete discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Cabinet appointments, this should really raise alarm bells. Considering how Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barney Frank betrayed us on ENDA during the last Congress, things are looking dismal on lgbt issues. The Democratic Party is really starting to look like a lost cause for us queers.
If this heterosexist oppression from the Democrats continues, this only sensible thing for queers to do is vote party line Green in November 2010. We cannot reasonably be expected to passively endure the viciously bigoted behavior we experienced during the eight long years of Bill Clinton's administration indefinitely.