CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – The Defense Department announced -for the first time in U.S. history -that it is allowing service members to march in uniform in a gay pride parade. Even though their policy is to not allow troops to march in uniform in parades they will be making an exception for the San Diego gay pride parade. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta vowed to remove as many barriers as possible so that gays and lesbians can be proud to be out in uniform with the recent repeal last year of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
Progress is good.
The United States Senate at 3:30 PM ET today voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” 65-31, following a successful cloture vote of 63-33. The bill now makes its way to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature next week, as he fulfills a campaign and State of the Union promise.
This is a developing story and may be updated throughout the day. Stay tuned.
The end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” even though already ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, still must be certified by the military and the Commander in Chief. Any LGBT soldiers who believe they can “come out” are still subject to discharge, and as Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly just wrote, “White House Won’t Commit to Halting DADT Discharges — a Position Taken By Reid, Levin,” despite the fact that Rep. Barney Frank, as The Huffington Post writes, says “President Obama would stop defending “don’t ask, don’t tell” in courts, even if a bill forcing its repeal fails to pass in the Senate.”
By: Tom Butts
I support my Democratic party; I’ve been consistent with my voting record. I am very proud of my part and of the President’s accomplishments –with one exception: “Don’t ask, don’t tell”.
Today, President Obama requested a stay in overturning the antiquated practice of having our troops “lie” if they happen to be gay or lesbian. He’s a coward. Here are some of the countries that don’t allow gays to serve openly in the military (I’d say we’re in good company): North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Syria…
And to top it off, today is Wear Purple Day. Mr. President, you picked a bad day to do this.
What if the tables were turned? Seriously. I’m America’s first openly gay president. I’d stated, during my election campaign, that I want black people allowed in the military and yet, when the courts say it amounts to prejudice and unequal treatment, I push to keep the current policy in place until the decision can be done through congress.
Oh, and did I mention, it just happens to be Martin Luther King Day?
I’m not this person.
I believe in equal treatment of all people.
Mr. President, as I stated above, you made a cowardly decision.
US President Barack Obama has outlined achievements by his administration in efforts to give homosexual people more rights.
Mr Obama, who has been criticised for the lack of action on such issues as gay marriage and the right to serve in the military, told gay supporters on Sunday morning he would fight for their causes and renewed a pledge to end restrictions on their service in the US military.
At the end of his speech, the president received a standing ovation from participants in a benefit held by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay advocacy group.
Referring to the policy prohibiting openly gay people from serving in the US military,Mr Obama said he would end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The US president has repeatedly pledged to tackle issues important to the gay community and has said he will repeal the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that allows gays to serve in the army as long as they do not mention their sexual orientation.
He has often faced criticism from gay advocates over what many in the gay community have felt is a lack of action on his promises for civil rights.
Mr Obama has also long promised to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act, which determines how gay partnerships are recognised by government and benefits for gay couples.
At the dinner, he acknowledged that there would need to be more work done on the issues, blaming the push to overhaul healthcare and the economic crisis dominate for taking up his time.
The president, who needs to shore up his support among gays and lesbians who backed him strongly during last year’s presidential campaign, promised his unwavering support for broadening rights.
he said he would extend some benefits to partners of gay federal employees and would sign a bill to broaden the definition of hate crimes to include attacks on people because of their sexual orientation.
The House of Representatives passed the bill last week and the Senate is expected to act soon.