There was some success this week over ending the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell oppressive policy! The Senate Armed Services Committee voted for the compromise 16-12. The House of Republicans debated and debated on Thursday and finally voted on the compromise which was an amendment by Patrick Murphy to the Defense Reauthorization Act for FY 2010. It too passed the House 229-186 votes.
I listened most of the day on C-Span to the arguments. Droning on in the background while I worked were Congressmen and women who addressed the Don’t Ask Don’ Tell Policy and the procedures that this compromise would put in place. OMG! It was as if the Republicans were speaking from talking points. One after another they rose to say enlisted people should be polled on the subject. Implying at every turn that it is opposed by the majority of the military. Polling that has already been done say that most soldiers and sailors and marines have no objections to serving side by side with gay and lesbian folks. Most say that sexual orientation is irrelevant and they already are serving with GLBT people!
Then they brought out the red herring that this was a violation of freedom of religion because some people’s religion doesn’t condone “homosexuality”. Yikes–they were really desperate. What does one’s religion have to do with those who serve in the military other than prayers for safety and peace?
Even with these votes, the Senate as a whole still has to vote. Right now that is scheduled for sometime in July. Sen. John McCain is threatening filibuster with some fellow Republicans. Will they really hold up funding for the military with two wars going on? I bet they have the audacity to do so.
So the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy isn’t over yet. And even in the compromise language the policy of discharge won’t stop until a military review panel submits its report in December to Secretary Gates and the President, who will then review its recommendations.
So #DADT is not over yet. But you can keep the pressure on by calling your Senators and in particular the office of John McCain (202) 224-2235 and tell him to stand down. This will make a difference.