Monday, October 19, 2009

Congress Moving on DADT

I’m not getting my hopes up too much, but it looks like we might be getting some action from Congress on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a leading proponent of gay rights and close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), earlier this week predicted the House would move on the issue.

“Early next year we will be moving on ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ ” Frank told Headline News.

On the Senate side, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is taking up the cause.

Lieberman is a key member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where such a bill could likely originate. Sources have even suggested in the days following the president’s promise to repeal the law — which prevents gays from openly serving in the military — that Lieberman could be the Senate legislation’s primary sponsor.

“Sen. Lieberman has had discussions with representatives of the [Obama administration] and others on the best way to reverse this policy, which he has opposed since it was first proposed in 1993,” Marshall Wittmann, Lieberman’s press secretary, told The Advocate on Monday.

Of course there will be some reluctance on the part of some Democrats to do this because it will only feed the far-right base that is creepily obsessed with gay sex in the military (for the which they should really get in touch with Jeff Gannon/James Guckert), or the tired old argument that the military isn’t the place for “social engineering.” That didn’t fly in 1948, either. So whether or not this is the right time, and whether or not the troops will accept openly gay soldiers — no one should be under any delusion that it will go smoothly and that there won’t be hazing or worse — it is ultimately the right thing to do, and since it is in the hands of Congress, not the president, it is up to them to do it. So go on; surprise us by doing the right thing.