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Murphy: We have votes to repeal DADT

History in the making? It's looking good.

Dem Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, who has been leading the charge to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, said in an interview just now that it's a foregone conclusion: Dems have the votes to get it done.

Murphy, an Iraq War vet who has been working colleagues on the issue for over a year, tells me he has enough private commitments backing repeal to ensure that it passes by a comfortable margin. He says he's been privately assured by Senate vote counters that it will pass the Senate, too.

As you know, the White House, Dem leaders and gay rights groups reached a compromise yesterday on a measure that would repeal DADT, pending the Pentagon's completion of a study on the issue. News orgs have reported that despite the breakthrough, it's uncertain whether it will pass Congress.

.But Murphy says it will pass. "We have the votes to get this done," he tells me. "I have 192 co-sponsors and commitments from dozens of others." That would put the count at well higher than the 217 needed to pass the House.

Though the picture is less clear in the Senate, Murphy insists that senators Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin, who have taken the lead on the issue, have assured him the votes are there. "They believe they have the votes," Murphy said.

Some gay rights advocates who have repeatedly come close to realizing repeal only to be bitterly disappointed, remain skeptical. They point out that the compromise still leaves the ball in the Pentagon's court.

But Murphy, who's been in private talks with key plaers for months, said he had no doubt that the Pentagon brass is committed to making it happen. He said the Pentagon will have no choice but to revise its regulations to be in accordance with Federal law.

"I don't think Secretary Gates or Admiral Mullen could have been more clear: It's not a question of If, it's a question of When," Murphy said. "This day is long in coming."

Predicting anything with certainty in the intrigue-laden Capitol is always a dangerous game. But this is cause for serious optimism. More when I learn it.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 25, 2010; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  House Dems , Senate Dems  
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Comments

Well it's about freakin' time!

Posted by: sbj3 | May 25, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Finally! This is great news.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

pending the Pentagon's completion of a study, which will never happen.

Posted by: obrier2 | May 25, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Thank god!

Benen has a good write-up on it, also:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_05/023959.php

It's about freaking time. . .

Posted by: Michigoose | May 25, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

One thing seems to always to be overlooked is that the report the Pentagon is compiling is about how to impliment the repeal of DADT, not give a recommendation on repealing the law. The only way that report stops a repeal would be if it came out and said "there is no way the military could handle it"...which seems pretty unlikely.

I always figured we'd see the repeal of DADT legislatively before the mid-terms. This is actually a little sooner than I thought though. Figured summer...though I'm happy to have been too conservative in my estimation.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 25, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

IT'S OBAMA'S FAULT!

Oh wait...

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Update on Politico: "Gates 'can accept' 'Don't Ask' repeal plan"

“Secretary Gates continues to believe that ideally the DOD review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law. With Congress having indicated that is not possible, the Secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment," Morrell said."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0510/Gates_can_accept_Dont_Ask_repeal_plan.html#

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

O/T, on the Sestack story.

Dave Weigel is reporting: "Sestak couldn't have been nominated for secretary of the Navy"

On March 27, 2009, the administration nominated Ray Mabus as secretary of the Navy. It wasn't until April 28 that Specter became a Democrat, and by Sestak's own recollection, he was literally being courted to run the day that news broke. On May 18, the Senate confirmed Mabus. And on May 29, Sestak entered the Senate race.

It's pretty clear that if Sestak was offered a job, it wasn't secretary of the Navy.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/sestak_couldnt_have_been_nomin.html#comments


Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Well it's not done yet but this is yet another great accomplishment of our so called "just like Bush" president.

Posted by: SDJeff | May 25, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

All, check out this brutal new ad targeting Blanche Lincoln:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/new_labor_ad_blasts_blanche_li.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 25, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Good.

We were wondering who was going to "walk the point", and lookie who just volunteered to find the land mines with their feet!

And if any of you babbling moonbats think that that's not how it is, you are once again living in LaLa Land.

T'ain't no EEOC to whine to out in "Indian Country".

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Gates 'can accept' 'Don't Ask' repeal plan"
aha. Of course, for a few seconds, I read this as:
"Gates can'T accept Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal plan" .....

:):)

@mikefromArlington said:
"IT'S OBAMA'S FAULT!
Oh wait... "

I vote for this one as the funniest comment yet! ;)

Posted by: CrashTestSmartie | May 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

i can't believe the amount of attention, time, energy that has been devoted to this issue and that of gay marriage, both of which i have always thought to be non-issues. and though i'm long married to a woman, i speak as one with a long checkered past prior to our marriage, even a couple checkers since marrying.

why any gay man (or straight man, for that matter, if there even is such a thing in nature...), would want to join a military organization dedicated to killing and/or torturing other men or women or children... is beyond me. anything that gets you a pass to not participate in murder, incorporated... well, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

gay marriage? well.who's stopping that? you live with another member of your gender for a while and can consider yourselves married.and really, one of the good things about being gay is that they haven't had the tradition of marriage hanging over them. the only point i can see in all of this is such things as a gay partner's rights to insurance coverage and aspects of inheritance or in the event that they split up and seek whatever they think is their fair share of the belongings accrued in the relationship.

Posted by: tazdelaney | May 25, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Nothing would please me more than to have gay men and lesbians able to serve in any capacity in any job in the US. However, this issue needs another level of analysis.

It doesn't make a bit of difference whether Congress has the votes or the US population at large approves of repealing DADT. Why? Because Congress and the US population at large aren't the backbone of the US military. Most of both groups have never served and never will.

The single group of mainly young men whose opinion of this issue DOES matter is the group of largely white, mostly non-college educated, often rural young men (with some women) who are smart enough to get into the military and learn sophisticated weaponry and willing to serve there for years at a time. You know - the ones you see in the paper on patrol in some God-forsaken part of Iraq. How do these people see the issue?

If they are willing to serve with gays/lesbians, no problem.

If we find that they are not willing and either will not sign up in the first place or will depart in droves, will gays/lesbians and their supporters make up the difference? I somehow doubt it.

Has anyone asked these young soldiers? Again, I somehow doubt it.

And don't give me the Israel argument. Pretty much everybody serves in their army in their youth.

Posted by: dflinchum | May 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Three Cheers for Captain Murphy!

Posted by: AxelDC | May 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, goodie. Barney Frank and his boyfriend can enlist and they can share a bunk to save money.

Posted by: usnret742w4 | May 25, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Pass the repeal and give the Pentagon orders to cease all ongoing actions and offer reinstatement to all of those whom they wrongfully ousted from their chosen careers, and do it with an apology. DADT has been the epitome of hypocrisy since the day it was enacted. And the shame of it all is that a black general officer stood behind it as it was going before Congress to be enacted. Will Gen. Powell be standing in the room when this thing is repealed? Maybe he will tell McCain that it is time for the rule to go.

Posted by: ronjeske | May 25, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Stop boring us with this cr@p!

There's more important stuff going on without dwelling on this ridiculous issue. If the president would spent half the time he has devoted to this non-issue on things like ... a gigantic oil spill that has been spewing for over a month -- while he dithers on "don't ask" cr@p -- we might actually get something done.

Would someone please say out loud what we all know? This president is an empty suit who doesn't know what the hell he is doing or what he is supposed to do, aside from paying off his base.

It's time for adults to lead and to tell Obama and his likewise childish administration to go home and take their nap.


Posted by: jpfann | May 25, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the Bible. Any educated Christian would know that. Scholars who have studied the Bible in context of the times and in relation to other passages have shown those passages (Leviticus, Corinthians, Romans, etc) have nothing to do with homosexuality. These passages often cherry-picked while ignoring the rest of the Bible. The sins theses passages are referring to are idolatry, prostitution, and rape, not homosexuality.

(Change *** to www)
***.soulfoodministry.org/docs/English/NotASin.htm
***.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible_homosexuality_print.html
***.christchapel.com/reclaiming.html
***.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse/BiblicalReferences.php
***.gaychristian101.com/

Posted by: shadow_man | May 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is not a choice. Just like you don't choose the color of your skin, you cannot choose whom you are sexually attracted to. If you can, sorry, but you are not heterosexual, you are bi-sexual. Virtually all major psychological and medical experts agree that sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Most gay people will tell you its not a choice. Common sense will tell you its not a choice. While science is relatively new to studying homosexuality, studies tend to indicate that its biological.

(Change *** to www)
***-news.uchicago.edu/releases/03/differential-brain-activation.pdf
***.newscientist.com/channel/sex/dn14146-gay-brains-structured-like-those-of-the-opposite-sex.html
Gay, Straight Men's Brain Responses Differ
***.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,155990,00.html
***.livescience.com/health/060224_gay_genes.html
***.springerlink.com/content/w27453600k586276/

Posted by: shadow_man | May 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

Posted by: shadow_man | May 25, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The National Library of Medicine pubs confirm that sexual orientation is natural, biologically induced in the first trimester of pregnancy, morally neutral, immutable, neither contagious nor learned, bearing no relation to an individuals ability to form deep and lasting relationships, to parent children, to work or to contribute to society.

From the American Psychological Association: homosexuality is normal; homosexual relationships are normal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Asociation and American Psychiatric Asociation have endorsed civil marriage for same-sex couples because marriage strengthens mental and physical health and longevity of couples, and provides greater legal and financial security for children, parents and seniors.

America's premier child/mental health associations endorse marriage equality.

Posted by: shadow_man | May 25, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

This was taken from another poster that shows why we need to legalize gay marriage. If you don't feel for this person after reading it, you simply aren't human.

"I am not sure what our President thinks of this dicission but coming from a poor family and knowing what discrimination is all about I would assume he would not care if "Gays" have equal rights. The whole reason why they are asking for rights to be considered married is from the same reason why I would be for it. My own life partner commited suicide in our home with a gun to his heart. After a 28 year union I was deprived to even go his funeral. We had two plots next to each other. But because we did not have a marriage cirtificate "(Legal Document)" of our union his mother had him cremated and his ashes taken back to Missouri where we came from. That is only one example how painful it is. His suicide tramatized me so much and her disregard for my feelings only added to my heartach. That happened on March 21 of 2007 and I still cannot type this without crying for the trauma I have to endure each day. Oh did I mention I am in an electric wheelchair for life? Yes I am and it is very diffacult to find another mate when you are 58 and in a wheelchair. "

Posted by: shadow_man | May 25, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Haven't a clue why any compromise would be necessary if the votes are there to repeal DADT. The compromise says it will happen but not until the Pentagon has completed their study. Seems rather ridiculous to complete a study if repeal is a foregone legal conclusion. What if the "study" says DADT works just fine and would have a detrimental impact on the military if repealed? What ever happened to the military following order not conducting a study on the need for them?

Posted by: mcordray | May 25, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Be done with the foolishness and repeal DADT. There are gay folks serving in the military. Everybody knows it, and always have. End the charade and let's get on with life.

Posted by: jaynashvil | May 25, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I can’t believe how many people cannot see the harm that allowing homos to serve openly in the military will cause. We have all seen ad nausem the abuse homosexual priests placed in positions of trust and authority have caused towards innocents in their charge. When homosexual officers and NCOs can serve openly, there are many, many ways they can and will use the military system, with its ethos of obedience and discipline, to persuade and influence the (typically) men under their control to serve their sexual needs. Anyone who doesn’t see this is in total denial, and certainly not to be trusted.

Posted by: UnbiasedTowardsHomos | May 25, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

It just doesn't matter like all the homophobes wish it would. I really don't want to care about this anymore. The fact is those people are wrong, and were always wrong about this. They might not like having to accept the truth about that, but they need to get over themselves & let go of their ignorance.

I like 'Don't Care' because I really don't care about this, and know it's not the problem it was ever made out to be.

The people who get upset about this need to ask themselves what the hell their own problems are. Because this is about their unhealthy issues, not other people.

Posted by: Nymous | May 25, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"there are many, many ways they can and will use the military system, with its ethos of obedience and discipline, to persuade and influence the (typically) men under their control to serve their sexual needs..."

Twaddle. On that line of thinking, women should never have been allowed to serve either. The Uniform Code of Military Justice has quite a lot to say on the matter of fraternization, never mind sexual exploitation and rape. If that helps straight males keep it in their pants, I'm sure it can do the same for gay soldiers.

Posted by: fzdybel | May 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse


Dark circles under the eyes are a sign of homosexuality Greg.

Posted by: screwjob15 | May 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

what about sodomy addiction? are recruits going to be counseled about the dangers of sodomy addiction. sodomy cronyism is a big problem in the DOD already. its known that subjecting immature personalities to sodomoy produces psychopaths and alcoholics

Posted by: showze2 | May 25, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Everyone should be GAY. This way, there would be a whole lot less STUPID people on this Planet.

Posted by: markypolo | May 25, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Let me see. The photo of the new Supreme Court nominee playing softball was criticized as to "butch" and an affront to her privacy. Now it is an affront to say that folks in the military need not talk or be questioned about their sexual preferences so I am confused. Offended by outing and offended when outing is not allowed.

Posted by: gsweeten | May 25, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

"The single group of mainly young men whose opinion of this issue DOES matter is the group of largely white, mostly non-college educated, often rural young men (with some women) who are smart enough to get into the military and learn sophisticated weaponry and willing to serve there for years at a time. You know - the ones you see in the paper on patrol in some God-forsaken part of Iraq. How do these people see the issue? If they are willing to serve with gays/lesbians, no problem. If we find that they are not willing and either will not sign up in the first place or will depart in droves, will gays/lesbians and their supporters make up the difference? I somehow doubt it. Has anyone asked these young soldiers? Again, I somehow doubt it. And don't give me the Israel argument. Pretty much everybody serves in their army in their youth. Posted by: dflinchum"

Those few who AREN'T willing to serve with gays should be offered full honorable discharges on the spot. For every one who takes the discharge a dozen gays can be found who would love to be allowed to serve their country, right up there walking point. The gay and lesbian community aren't asking for special treatment, just equal treatment, even when it is equally bad, equally dreadful, like stop loss orders and very belated recalls to active duty.

There is only one thing that matters, and that is can each soldier do his job? Without asking for an apology there will be quite a few Arabic Linguists offering to go back to filling a major need in the ranks. They should get that apology anyway and be welcomed with sincere thanks.

But I am prejudiced. My mother was cheated out of her chance to serve her country when some genteel southern gentlemen in the House and Senate couldn't abide the thought of women flying anything but brooms and beds, back in WWII. Made Hap Arnold into a liar, for which he was particularly unforgiving in the short time he remained alive to resent it.

Posted by: ceflynline | May 25, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The Military strongly resisted earlier efforts to include all capable Americans in the Military, including efforts to integrate black Americans and to allow women to serve.

The Military is under civilian control. On purpose.

When the President tells them to do something, they salute and they do it. And they generally do it pretty well.

You don't ask soldiers to VOTE on what they want. If you did, it's likely rations would be a lot better and pay would be a lot higher.

A sure sign that resistance to gay people serving in the Military isn't warranted is that, over the decades, the rationales given have DIRECTLY paralleled those used in every previous effort (including such red herrings as “recruitment will go down”, “we won't be able to protect ‘them’ from attacks by their fellow soldiers”, and so on). And, one by one, the ONLY argument left standing in the current case is "unit cohesion".

That of course was used in the previous cases as well. And units were able to cohere just fine.

You simply cannot predict who will get along with whom. For every soldier who doesn't want to serve along side a gay person, there's a soldier who doesn't want to serve along side an atheist, a Muslim, a liberal, a Latino, a black person (or a white person), someone from some group he doesn't like.

So what? The Military isn't about "liking" groups. It's about FORMING a group, and following orders.

This is a POLITICAL battle, not a military one.

We live in a society that frequently pits group against group, and particularly, minority against majority. We are ALL members of some minority group. And for the most part, it's completely irrelevant to the ability to serve.

The ONLY criterion for service in the Military should be the ability to perform one's duties. And there is absolutely no evidence that gay people can't perform their duties just as well as members of other groups do. Indeed, there are plenty of gay people serving today just fine.

DADT is a policy that instructs gay soldiers to LIE. Don't believe that? What does the gay soldier have to do when he is asked if he's single or not? What does the gay soldier have to do when asked to designate his next of kin, or the person who should receive his effects in case of death?

No soldier should ever be asked to LIE to his fellow soldiers just to serve. Not only is that immoral, but it is counterproductive.

Indeed, for those so consumed by the notion of "unit cohesion", asking people to break trust with their unit is a completely irrational policy.

Posted by: ricklinguist | May 25, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Everytime someone is forced out of the military the country loses a much need talent...

Posted by: edmundsingleton1 | May 26, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Congressman Patrick Murphy.
Onward to equality,
Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.

Posted by: cornetmustich | May 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who has really served in combat will know when I say you follow your leadership out of respect. Who respects a deviant but another deviant?

Posted by: numbersch13 | May 26, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

numbersch13 : So, if you were truly in the military, and you had a particular CO whom had saved your ass on several occasions, and had earned your respect as a soldier. If he suddenly came out as gay when this policy is repealed, are you saying you would no longer respect him? That would seem rather shallow to me. Ive always been of the mindset that respect is earned. A good leader is a good leader, gay, straight, bi, doesn't matter one whit.

Posted by: danblundon262 | May 26, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

You follow your leader because HE is wearing that gold or silver bar, or maybe two silver bars. You carry out his commands because you are trained to carry out his commands. If you ever thought it through you may have realized that disciplined troops, doing their best to carry out poor orders are still more likely to live and succeed than undisciplined troops questioning and ignoring orders because they are convinced their orders come from someone they "don't respect."

Far too many gays forced out of the service were in very hard to fill MOS's like Linguist who were doing the kind of job where the sole characteristic guaranteeing his very best effort was his personal dedication to doing his job. No leadership, no supervision, no outside motivation can do anything at all to improve the man's output. But for all the work, and all the mental distress the job caused the op, when some unthinking idiot complains, the Linguist is gone, and the overworked lingies who remain have to work all the harder to make up the loss.

SO, n13, keep your Calvinist judgementalism to yourself. EVERYONE who takes the oath and lives by the UCMJ has every right to be himself, off duty and in his private life.

Posted by: ceflynline | May 26, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

It's clear than very, very few of you have ever served in the military, let alone had combat experience. Guys and dolls, the military isn't your liberal teacher trying to get "everybody to just get along." It's also clear that our military leaders -- the ones who are responsible for safeguarding our lives and our shores -- do not want a change in regulation. I'm with the military leaders. I surely do not want to have to depend on the whinnies commenting on this subject here. Semper fi.

Posted by: RonKH | May 26, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse


"...the military isn't your liberal teacher trying to get "everybody to just get along."
...Posted by: RonKH

First, thank you for your service.

Second, and I say this with respect, I don't understand your point.

Is it really ok in the Military NOT to "get along" with others who you don't like?

What other groups should be kept from serving because people might not "get along" with them? Atheists? Jews? Christians? People who swear? People who don't swear? People with strong personal odor?

Isn't the whole point behind the notion of "unit cohesion" to focus on the mission and protecting one another?

Why pick out this one particular group and say, "Well, we don't LIKE them, so THEY should be kicked out"?

I can think of LOTS of people that might cause more disruption than some of the gay people I know who have served in the Military. They were outstanding, and a number of non-gay soldiers are, well, not.

Seems to me that, if the criterion for service were GROUPS who might contain individuals who would cause a disruption, there wouldn't be many groups that everyone would agree ought to stay.

Posted by: ricklinguist | May 26, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

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