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June 25, 2009


President Obama has run out of excuses for not taking action on DADT himself by simply exercising his own authority.

As most of my regular readers know, I've written numerous articles about Obama's inaction on DADT. Well since then, the steam over this issue has steadily increased the pressure for him to do something.

In addition to the USA Today/Gallup poll taken in May showing that over two-thirds of the country supports repealing DADT and the University of California's Palm Center Think Tank's report on what actions Obama can legally take on his own authority, this past Monday, 77 Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the Present urging him to stop the unwarranted discharges of gay service members.

In the letter they called on him to use his executive powers to order a halt to military discharges under DADT and to work aggressively with Congress to pass new legislation to overturn what they describe as a discriminatory policy that harms national security. The letter said, in part:

"We urge you to exercise the maximum discretion legally possible in administering Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell until Congress repeals the law. To this end, we ask that you direct the Armed Services not to initiate any investigation of service personnel to determine their sexual orientation, and that you instruct them to disregard third party accusations that do not allege violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

To metaphorically swing the congressional closet door that Obama has been hiding behind wide open - David Corn, writing for the publication Mother Jones, reported today that when questioned about DADT and DOMA, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs usually gives a version of the same reply - we're waiting for the Pentagon and/or Congress. He essentially has been suggesting that Obama cannot do much on his own. Corn went on to write:

Well, the Center for American Progress--the policy shop run by John Podesta, who oversaw Obama's presidential transition, says that's not so. This week, CAP released a report proposing a rather simple 5-step program for dumping DADT.

1. Signing an Executive Order banning further military separations based on DADT and sending a legislative proposal on DADT repeal to Congress.
2. Forming a presidential panel on how to implement the repeal
3. Repealing DADT in Congress and changing the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, or UCMS
4. Changing other necessary military guidelines to conform to the new policy
5. Following-up to ensure that the armed forces implement the policy changes

Obama cannot do all of this on his say-so. But he sure could get the ball rolling by inking an executive order and creating a presidential panel.

If Obama were to at least issue that Executive Order stopping the discharges immediately, it would go a long way in restoring the GLBT community's faith in the promises he made to us before being elected.

One thing for sure - he's run out of time and excuses. And he can be sure that the GLBT community and the press in general is not going to stop hammering away until he does something.

Mr. President, I still really do want to believe that you honestly do want to live up to the ideals of equality you so passionately preached about before you became President.

Please don't let us down. The country needs and deserves to have at least one politician, one president actually be what he and/or she wants us to believe they are.


Wonder Man said...

Have Hope, he will get to it

Steve Krotz said...

The problem is that an average of 2-3 gay service men and women have their lives disrupted and their dreams of serving their country in the military taken away everyday that this incredibly homophobic and cruel policy remains in place.

Why should they pay a price like that for no other reason than political maneuvering when something can be done today - right now?

Steve Krotz said...

Don't get me wrong. I too still believe that Obama will do it but I'm getting more and more impatient ever since I learned that he has the power and the authority to do something immediately - without permission from congress or anyone else.