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Repeal of 'don't ask don't tell' next year?

By Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe and Paul Kane

Updated 5:35 p.m. ET

Congress will move next year to repeal the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy that prohibits openly gay people from serving in uniform, according to a Democratic lawmaker.

Barney Frank
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

In an interview with The Advocate, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), says both houses of Congress will include the repeal in their versions of the Defense authorization bill, the massive spending package that funds the Pentagon.

Frank, who is gay, said he has consulted with the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders on the strategy. He also suggested that President Obama could stop discharges by executive order the moment the law changes.

“Once the bill is passed, even if it hasn’t yet taken effect at that point, the president could justify a stop-loss order because it would no longer be the law -- it’s just a matter of time,” Frank told The Advocate.

Senior Democratic aides said Pelosi has not formally decided on how to repeal the law but considers the defense authorization legislation the likely vehicle because that's where most Pentagon policy decisions are made.

Without endorsing a method or timing, Pelosi's office said the speaker remains committed to the effort. "One legislative way or another, this policy, which is unfair to patriotic Americans who serve our country and strengthen our national security, must be changed," Drew Hammill, Pelosi's spokesman, said.

Frank also admitted that passage of the repeal may be difficult in the Senate, where supporters will need 60 votes to end debate and get a vote. It's also unclear how politically vulnerable lawmakers will vote on an issue that is still opposed by many Americans, especially if negotiations on the bill drag into next fall.

Frank's comment come a month after President Obama told a Human Rights Campaign dinner that, "I will end 'don't ask, don't tell.' " The president did not provide any specifics on his plans to do so at the time, but Frank's remarks seem to indicate at least one path forward.

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 11, 2009; 2:27 PM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Comments

Im all for letting the perverts into the Military.

Just use them to clear mine fields.

Posted by: BO__Stinks | November 11, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I guess this is the most important issue right now...
after all does it matter that obama stole Christmas from so many unemployed...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 11, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for printing this moron bait.

Posted by: spidey103 | November 11, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Most polls show that a clear majority of Americans support repeal of DADT. It's not really that politically risky anymore.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 11, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Hillman1, but notice how hard our intrepid reporters worked (yes, it took two!) to get a sentence that didn't tell the readers that polls show a majority of Ameerican support repeal of DADT: "an issue that is still opposed by many Americans"

Posted by: Hopeful9 | November 11, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse


Institutional discrimination against US Citizens based on race, creed, religeon, gender, sexual preference, or any other illegitimate reason is anathema to our US Constitution because it facilitates governmental empowerment of the perpetraitors of injustice.

The illegitimate and unrelenting attacks of godbothering, homophobic, religious zealots and their craven political lackeys, on the Citizenship Rights of gay and lesbian US Citizens, are not acceptable to those who truly honor our US Constitution and the Inalienable Citizenship Rights and Freedoms guarrantied therein.

We must no longer allow these despicable religious bigots and homophobes to deny full Constitutional Rights to gay and lesbian US Citizens, most notably our heroic US Armed Forces service members.

For eight long years, we watched the supremely incompetent and illegitimate former president hide behind our service members while exploiting them as a prop for his political photo ops.

What we need is a President who will stand up for the Constitutional Rights of those who are sworn to protect it, like Lt. Dan Choi.

Knowing that Lt. Choi, and his gay and lesbian comrades have proven themselves willing to risk their lives for a Nation that openly and institutionally discriminates against them, only magnifies the larger Constitutional injustice represented.

Now is the time for our esteemed President and lethargic Congress to end institutional discrimination against gay and lesbian US Service Members and all US Citizens regardless of their sexual preference.

Posted by: MrTruth | November 12, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse



Institutional discrimination against US Citizens based on race, creed, religeon, gender, sexual preference, or any other illegitimate reason is anathema to our US Constitution because it facilitates the governmental empowerment of the perpetraitors of injustice.

The illegitimate and unrelenting attacks of godbothering, homophobic, religious zealots and their craven political lackeys, on the Citizenship Rights of gay and lesbian US Citizens, is not acceptable to those who truly honor our US Constitution and the the Inalienable Citizenship Rights and Freedoms guarrantied therein.

We must no longer allow these despicable religious bigots and homophobes to deny full Constitutional Rights to gay and lesbian US Citizens, most notably our heroic US Armed Forces service members.

We spent eight long years watching an incompetent former president hide behind our service members while exploiting them as a prop for his political photo ops. What we need is a President who will stand up for our Constitution and especially the Rights of those who are sworn to protect it, like Lt. Dan Choi.

Knowing that Lt. Choi, and his gay and lesbian comrades have proven themselves willing to risk their lives for a Nation that openly and institutionally discriminates against them, only magnifies the larger Constitutional injustice represented. Now is the time for our esteemed President and lethargic Congress to end institutional discrimination against gay and lesbian US Service Members and all US Citizens regardless of their sexual preference.

Posted by: MrTruth | November 12, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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