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Obama's letters supporting 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

By Ed O'Keefe

The White House endorsed plans to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on Monday, clearing the way for Congress to vote to repeal the gay ban after 17 years.

A proforma series of letters between lawmakers and the White House exchanged hands late Monday, culminating in Office of Management and Budget Director Peter R. Orszag formally expressing the Obama administration's support for the repeal.

The first letter came from Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) and Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), formally announcing the compromise and asking for support:

2010 5 25 Congress Letter

Orszag responded later in letters to Murphy, Levin and Lieberman, stating their agreement "recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions."

0524 Rep Murphy

Read the letters and leave thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 9:12 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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You want active service members to vote on this? I didn't think you would.
In other words, only those whose lives are not at risk should have any input.
Does Blumenthal, the Vietnam Veteran, favor this change in active duty policy? Who cares what he thinks?
There is nothing wrong with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as far as FAIRNESS. Active duty troops are only responsible for their actions sexually, whether Heterosexual OR Homosexual. They only get in trouble from sexual misconduct, like the female astronaut that wore the diaper to drive from Texas to Florida to "off" a rival.

Posted by: jbg29 | May 24, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The law was there for a reason, and not to gain votes from gays. The generals have told Obama repeatedly that in the middle of two wars is not the time to repeal this because it will result in EXTREME violence against gays, possibly in battle zones. Obama simply doesn't care, he is all about buying votes from any place, anybody, at any time.

Posted by: mike85 | May 24, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Why should anything change as the other commentators suggest? Gays have already been serving and their comrades know who they are, they just can't say it aloud. These homophobes may will fire and brimstone, but I think what we'll find is a more efficient military without the stress of hiding for fear of reprisals. So many good men and women now will opt to serve, and isn't that what we truly need?

Posted by: moonglowsun | May 24, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The current law worked fine for the majority in the Military. There is a good reason we have 'men's' quarters and bathrooms and 'women's' quarters and bathrooms. To force acceptance of a third 'sex' group on those who do not accept it is not right.

People have an absolute right to their own sexual preference and life style outside the barracks, but not to demand that others accept it as 'normal' if they choose not to and be forced to share their showers and bathrooms.

Posted by: dbothroydearthlinknet | May 24, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

It is time to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. For too long, in this great nation of ours, we have allowed this discriminatory law to continue. This Don't Ask, Don't Tell Law is a form of bigotry, which presupposes that gays are 2nd class citizens. It is time to end this discriminatory law. It is time for everyone to have equality. No one should be forced to hide their identity. Everyone should be able to say who they love. In a recent set of polls, nearly 75% of Americans supported this repeal. It is time to act on that public opinion. We must repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Law now. Everyone deserves to have equality in this country, including gays and lesbians.

Posted by: EqualityNow | May 25, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing the narrow-mindedness that still persists in people in this day and age. Gay and lesbian soldiers are not a "third sex" as some have suggested in the comment section of this post. Gay and lesbian soldier are valiant, brave American heroes who choose to defend our country, even if the country they are willing to give their life for doesn't yet recognize them as equal citizens. Canada and England lifted their bans on gays serving in the military years ago. That means American soldiers have been serving alongside openly gay soldiers from other countries in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of both wars--and without incident or harm to troop morale. And I would challenge those who oppose abolishing "Don’t Ask, Don't Tell" if you think it's alright for the United States government to spend millions of dollars training specialists--especially Arab translators and people most able (and willing) to help out in the war on terror--and then fire those people simply because someone with a gruge against them reported them to their superiors as being gay or lesbian. Having a sexual orientation is not the same as having sex, but I would little expect small-minded, and dare I say bigoted people to understand the difference. Anymore than they could understand the love a person must have for a country that even if that person is discriminated against by the very country he or she has vowed to protect and serve, he or she is still willing to put his or her life on the line to defend our freedom. How do the people who remain so bigoted today live with themselves?

Posted by: sgodbout13 | May 25, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

mike85: "The law was there for a reason, and not to gain votes from gays. The generals have told Obama repeatedly that in the middle of two wars is not the time to repeal this because it will result in EXTREME violence against gays, possibly in battle zones."

You mean, the same kind of extreme violence against black soldiers when Truman integrated the military?

Oh that's right... IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

This is a load of horse puckey invented by older-generation men who never learned to get along with gays. Soldiers today ARE serving alongside gay men and lesbians, and they know about it, and it's no big deal.

Perhaps your reasoning is that once military policy accepts gays (and implicitly condemns violence against soldiers based on their sexual orientation), then homophobic soldiers will suddenly risk disciplinary action by attacking other soldiers?

Pure nonsense.

Posted by: jamshark70 | May 25, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

This blog should be renamed WaPoDADT.

Posted by: jiji1 | May 25, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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