Robert Gibbs says Obama will End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

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President Obama will end the terribly flawed, 15-year-old military policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The policy — a flawed holdover from the Clinton administration, prevented gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals from serving openly within the U.S. military.

Obama said during the campaign that he opposed the policy, but since his election in November, he has made several slippery statements that have been interpreted as backpedaling.

However, on Friday, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, responding on the transition team’s website to a Michigan resident who asked if the new administration planned to get rid of the policy, said the following:

“You don’t hear politicians give a one-word answer much. But it’s ‘Yes'”

According to Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), whose 2006 bill to repeal the ban earned broad support among Democrats in Congress but did not move forward in the face of a near-certain veto by President Bush said:

“The question isn’t if we do it, and the question isn’t when we do it, it’s how we do it. I’m going to reintroduce the bill in the next few weeks. We’ve got the American people behind us.”

Tauscher is correct. An ABC poll in July 2008 found that three-quarters of Americans supported allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Democrats, Gay and Lesbian, News, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Robert Gibbs says Obama will End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

  1. Harry says:

    Does Rick Warren know? He isn’t going to approve of this and Obama will have to face his wrath.

  2. Andy says:

    About time. Even for those who still want to deny gay marriage or civil unions, the arguments in favor of don’t ask, don’t tell are simply ridiculous.

    Of course, the arguments against gay marriage generally are too.

  3. retahyajyajav says:

    Thousands of Americans who are gay have been tossed out of the military unceremoniously and for no other reason than their sexual orientation since DADT was made law.

    It’s an insane policy and one that Clinton was 100 percent wrong for laying on the gay community. For Christ’s sake, even his daughter told him the policy sucked.

    If Obama can fix it, then props. Plus, this will be a huge step toward making it right with his gay base who are fuming over Rick Warren.

  4. Brigadoon says:

    I’ll believe it when it happens.

  5. Hadrian says:

    The repeal of DADT will require an executive order otherwise the rightwing Repugs on the Senate Armed Services Committee will throw a hissy fit and go public.

  6. They’ll throw a hissy fit anyway, it’s what they do best. I’m with Brigadoon in that I’ll believe it when I see it, but 75% is about as high as public opinion will get on anything, given the fact that the other 25% are the psychos who think Chimpy was A number One and that Jesus is coming over for dinner.

  7. Peace Nick says:

    I never understood Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    Especially at this moment in time when the military needs bodies to fight their wars and expand the U.S. Empire.

    But one cautionary thought. Gays shouldn’t let the government use them and discard them. In other words, what happens if a gay soldier dies in combat?

    Will his or her surviving spouse get their deceased soldier’s benefits? If not, then don’t join.

  8. JollyRoger says:

    If DADT were gone, perhaps closet cases like McConnell and Graham could finally break free of their public shackles and live their lives openly.

  9. I like the succinctness of the answer, at least. Hopefully this will begin the enlightenment of the vast hillbilly conspiracy of cowards who hate gays simply because they hate anyone and everyone who’s one iota “different” than they. Maybe now we can at least move into the 20TH century, like the Netherlands?

  10. paulawest says:

    America does not need gays in the military in order to continue to be the greatest military in the world. I know, I retired from the Navy and while in uniform I took every opportunity available to run one out if discovered and never once failed to make a commitment. Just because somebody has an idea doesn’t make it a good idea, and gays in the military isn’t a good idea.

  11. BradFrmPhnx says:

    Sorry you feel that way Paula. But 75% of America apparantly doesn’t feel that way. And in this country, that’s enough to get something changed. Its hard enough being persecuted for something let alone have a govt. look at you as less than deserving. At one point Wyoming decided to give women the vote. And at that time Woodrow Wilson was putting women in jail without bail or charges for picketing the White House and demanding the right to vote. The atrocities done to those women was terrible. One died of a heart attack. My point is that at one point in our history, you wouldn’t even have been allowed anywhere but the bedroom or the kitchen, and people made concessions so you could fulfill your life’s dreams. Its just to darn bad that you can’t find that same spirit of righteousness for those persecuted on your watch.

  12. paulawest

    just another homophobe.

  13. libhomo says:

    Several Thoughts:

    1) This reminds me of the promises Bill Clinton made about lifting the ban. Instead, he put in place a more draconian version of the ban.

    2) We can’t rely on Obama to do this. We definitely will have to fight for this if we want it to happen.

    3) This will require an act of Congress.

  14. Conejo1982 says:

    My thoughts to paulawest.

    May 2009 include for you a painful and slow death from an incurable, terminal disease.

    Have a great day!

  15. Andy says:

    And why, Paula, is it such a bad idea? Why do you have such little faith in the professionalism of your fellow soldiers?

  16. Mauigirl says:

    Excellent news.

    As for Paulawest, considering how overworked our current military is (some of these men and women are on their second or third tour of duty over in Iraq or Afghanistan) I would think it a good thing to expand the military to include gay men and women who want to serve. (To say nothing of the fact that your attitude is bigoted.)

  17. JollyRoger says:

    America does not need gays in the military in order to continue to be the greatest military in the world. I know, I retired from the Navy and while in uniform I took every opportunity available to run one out if discovered and never once failed to make a commitment. Just because somebody has an idea doesn’t make it a good idea, and gays in the military isn’t a good idea.

    Oh, bullshit. I served with quite a few gay people, and I found that they could do their jobs every bit as well as I could do mine. THAT is all anyone in a uniform cares about, frigging wingtard homophobe.

  18. Fran says:

    Sure hope that is thrown out, I always thought it was bullshit. Put your life on the line, but don’t be true to yourself?

  19. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    As a former Marine, I applaud Obama getting rid of this stupid, God damned policy that doesn’t help the services or protect the country.

    To the bigot posting under the handle “paulawest,” you don’t represent the best. Did you shoot women and children in Iraq and then laugh about it?

  20. Rachel says:

    I’m watching this one closely. Obama pledged the repeal of DADT and I’m holding him to it. If Obama backtracks, then he will lose credibility and he will have trouble regaining his moral authority.

  21. It amazes me that the homophobes can’t see what is right before their eyes. Don’t allow homosexuals in the military? They HAVE always served this country, since the beginning of this country. So let’s let them serve openly, with pride in our country and in who they are.

    I do have to agree with Peacenik, though. The military is not going to recognize gay marriage, not going to cover spouse’s health care, not going to give the spouse anything except the life insurance if something happens to the military member. Don’t do that to your loved ones.

  22. “My thoughts to paulawest.

    May 2009 include for you a painful and slow death from an incurable, terminal disease.

    Have a great day!”

    –Conejo1982

    Way to be an asshole. I cannot be kind about this.

    Back to the post. Good. Not only do three quarters of Americans feel this way, but also a majoritiy of the military.

  23. Teen LaQueeffa says:

    Way to be an asshole. I cannot be kind about this.

    You’re the asshole for defending paulawest.

    Christopher, why do you allow these bigots to post here?

  24. Conejo1982 says:

    Scienceguy,

    Are you addressing me? Are you calling me an “asshole” for taking on a gay-basher who came to this blog to gleefully bloviate about destroying the careers of gay soldiers?

    So, I’m an “asshole?”

    I have two perfectly good words for you: FUCK OFF. Now run along and send a donation to Rick Warren.

  25. libhomo says:

    Conejo1982: scienceguy288 may not be as heterosexist as Rick Warren, but his comments here have shown that he has huge problems queer folk. He had no business calling you an “asshole.”

  26. Randy Arroyo says:

    Conejo1982 – Don’t sweat the hetero freepers. When they see their power and dominance in this country is threatened they jump to one another’s defense. Loyalties like this are cultural.

  27. No, I am just amazed that you can wish anyone death. I myself am a pacifist. My own personal belief system states that you should never say something like that to another human being. Violent words ultimately cause violent actions. Not to mention, essentially, you say that everybody who disagrees with you should die. As to my calling you an asshole, I apologize. That was an extreme measure. As to the points that I am a homophobe, well, I completly agree with laurapaul’s statement. I just found yours equally outrageous.

  28. Scienceguy,

    If you “agree with paulawest,” as you say, then you think it’s acceptable to run gay soldiers out of the military and destroy their military careers.

    This isn’t the position of a pacificist, as you claim to be: it’s the position of a homophobe and as LibHomo said, you definitely have problems with queers.

    I think in light of this revelation it’s best if you find another blog to express your views.

  29. DMason says:

    Christopher – Thank you. I’m tired of these people.

  30. Aunt Peg says:

    I’m late to read this thread and the responses.

    Why would anyone in their right mind take pleasure kicking gay people out of the military? Who are these people? Please, stay away from this blog.

    You don’t belong here.

  31. stradella says:

    Who are these homophobes?

    Aunt Peg is correct. These comments are a diss to our host. Please, go away and take your bigotry with you.

  32. I am sorry. That was a typo. I meant to type DISagree. I hope everyone can understand. If not, I hope to eventually regain your trust.

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