The House passed the stand alone Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal legislation yesterday and the watered down measure now moves on to the Senate for consideration. Which sounds great unless you look and see exactly how weak this so-called repeal is. Military leaders remain opposed to including sexual orientation as part of the military non-discrimination clause. Without those protections there is next to no chance that any soldiers could be open and honest about their sexuality and mantain a productive military career. A fact that the research institute, The Palm Center has long made known to our political and military leaders. Nor will there be any equality for gay soldiers and their legally wed spouses. But this so-called repeal isn’t about gay soldiers or thier ability to serve openly and honestly. This is about political cover for weak-kneed politicians.
Even President Obama’s support has to be quantified, as the White House statement released yesterday makes clear. President Obama won’t even give his full support of this weak legislation until “…after the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that implementation of the necessary policies and regulations related to the statutory repeal is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.” But depsite their repeated betrayals and refusals to enact a true and viable repeal, don’t think the Obama administration or a cowardly congress won’t be crowing and calling it a victory. Because who really cares about the soldiers or the discrimination they will continue to face? And anyone who thinks gay soldiers won’t be facing continued discrimination under this so-called repeal, need only to listen to General James Amos, Obama’s Commandant of the USMC and his views on openly gay soldiers.