Monday, July 13, 2009
I have been an ardent critic of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ever since the trifecta of Gov. David Paterson, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plucked Gillibrand from the relative obscurity of New York’s 20th congressional district and anointed her to replace Clinton in the senate.
Gillibrand is a conservative Democratic, an outspoken advocate of gun ownership who enjoys a perfect 100% NRA rating. She believes gay marriage equality should be left to the states to decide and, voted against legislation to grant same-sex partners of U.S. citizens the same immigration status of married couples. Needless to say, Gillibrand’s politics are antithetical to mine.
However, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is considering acting on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this week by introducing an amendment that would put an 18-month moratorium on the viciously homophobic, Clinton-era policy of discharging gays and lesbians from serving in the military.
Gillibrand may introduce her amendment on tomorrow with the Defense Reauthorization bill. If the amendment passes, gay-rights leaders expect it would stand a strong chance of being approved by the House and could be signed into law by President Obama, who has expressed his desire for the ban to be lifted. Rep. Patrick Murphy is trying to build support for a bill that has already been introduced in the House that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
A press representative from Gillibrand’s office said the decision to introduce the amendment is not final.
“Senator Gillibrand is working with Senator Kennedy’s office to garner support for a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and this is part of an ongoing effort to repeal this policy,” said Bethany Lesser, a spokeswoman for the senator.