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Author Topic: House Passes Bill With 'Don't Tell' Repeal  (Read 555 times)

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Offline CaeliTopic starter

House Passes Bill With 'Don't Tell' Repeal
« on: May 29, 2010, 06:26:59 AM »

May 28, 2010
House Passes Bill With ‘Don’t Tell’ Repeal

WASHINGTON — The House on Friday adopted an annual Pentagon policy bill that includes a provision allowing the Defense Department to repeal the ban on gay and bisexual people from serving openly in the military.

The vote was 229 to 186, with 220 Democrats and 9 Republicans in favor and 160 Republicans and 26 Democrats opposed.

The bill authorizes more than $567 billion in Pentagon programs and spending, and an additional $159 billion for overseas operations, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the 2011 fiscal year.

But the provision generating the most attention had little to do with the Defense Department budget. Instead, it would allow a repeal of the 1993 law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which bars openly gay men and lesbians from service in the military.

President Obama supports a repeal of the ban, as does the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. The bill would allow the Defense Department to end the ban 60 days after military leaders receive a report on the ramifications of openly gay and lesbian soldiers and certify that doing so would not disrupt the armed forces.

On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to its version of the Pentagon policy bill that would similarly allow a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The full Senate is expected to take up the measure within the next few weeks.

Supporters of lifting the ban described doing so as a matter of civil rights, and said it would only make the nation safer. “I believe repealing this policy will make our military stronger and our nation more secure,” said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida.

But Republicans said that Democrats were intent on destabilizing the military in order to advance a liberal social agenda.

While the White House has expressed support for the overall Pentagon policy bill and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it has also warned that aides to the president might still recommend a veto over two potential objections.

In a statement, the administration said that it “strongly objects to the addition of $485 million” for the development of an extra engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and that it will work with Congress to remove the provision from the bill.

“If the final bill presented to the president includes funding or a legislative direction to continue an extra engine program,” the statement said, “the president’s senior advisers would recommend a veto.”

In addition, the White House warned of potential restrictions in the bill that could limit the procurement of 42 of the Joint Strike Fighters included in the president’s 2011 budget. A veto would be recommended if the bill “contains provisions that would seriously disrupt the F-35 program,” the administration said.

A follow-up article, here, discusses some of the practical issues that might happen if Congress gives final approval to legislation allowing the repeal of the ban.

I think this is a step in the right direction. In an idyllic world, there wouldn't be a need to worry about the ramifications if the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ban; realistically, I think it will be a while yet before homosexuals will be able to serve alongside heterosexual servicemen and servicewomen without needing to fear harassment, among other things.

Offline Vekseid

Re: House Passes Bill With 'Don't Tell' Repeal
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2010, 07:17:43 AM »
This isn't a full repeal, remember. It essentially places the issue in the hands of the Administration, at least after December. Though presumably, putting it in Obama's hands is better than a congress held up by a number of homophobes.

Obviously there are going to be issues. Bryan Fischer seems to be jumping on the Godwinization of the Right Wing:
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

And this still isn't going to help the plight of transexuals : /

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Re: House Passes Bill With 'Don't Tell' Repeal
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2010, 08:00:38 AM »
It is a step in the right direction though.

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Re: House Passes Bill With 'Don't Tell' Repeal
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2010, 08:52:44 AM »
The bill would allow the Defense Department to end the ban 60 days after military leaders receive a report on the ramifications of openly gay and lesbian soldiers and certify that doing so would not disrupt the armed forces.

This. Right. Here.

Recently the Navy underwent a uniform change. It took more then five years after it was announced that the new uniforms were being wear tested by certain units before the uniforms actually became available to the fleet. Even then, it was still a two year phase-in process for the entire fleet to get them.

If finding out how uniforms will fit the fleet takes nearly ten years to accomplish, can you imagine how long it will take to to finalize a report on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military? I could most likely retire before being allowed to serve openly would happen. It is a step in the right direction, but it's also a very long road ahead.

But here's the kicker. While not officially open in the military, most people know who the gay men are. Many don't hide it. It's different with the women. But that is due to the sad fact that even though the military has been open to women for decades, harassment still occurs more frequently than most know. Racial harassment still occurs. For the simple fact that people will be people.

Navy Times publishes 'Don't ask, don't tell' survey

Results of survey of active duty personnel

This information is telling. While the slight majority of people seem to not mind gays being open in the military, that same slight majority is uncomfortable being in close quarters with them. It's a bit of a catch 22. 

Offline Greywolf

Re: House Passes Bill With 'Don't Tell' Repeal
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 11:18:36 AM »
This is a very nice development.  But, yes it will take a long time for us to see any real change.  That's to be expected though with this large of a cultural change.  Especially when involving an intituition that's so centered on tradition and history.