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Monday, February 1, 2010

Obama on Don't Ask Don't Tell: "Just Wrong"

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 10:15 AM

This story in the NYT is heartening:

But it was in Oval Office strategy sessions to review court cases challenging the ban—ones that could reach the Supreme Court—that Mr. Obama faced the fact that if he did not change the policy, his administration would be forced to defend publicly the constitutionality of a law he had long opposed.

As a participant recounted one of the sessions, Mr. Obama told Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, that the law was “just wrong.” Mr. Obama told them, the participant said, that he had delayed acting on repeal because the military was stretched in two wars and he did not want another polarizing debate in 2009 to distract from his health care fight.

But in 2010, he told them, this would be a priority. He got no objections.


Great, good, feeling hopey again about the repeal of DADT. But, again, Obama could suspend the enforcement of DADT today while Congress works on a solution, just as his head of Homeland Security suspended enforcement of the widow's penalty while Congress works on a solution. And Obama described the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as abhorrent and promised to repeal it but his administration nevertheless defended the law in court. But I'm prepared to take yes for an answer, of course, on DADT. As depressing as the lack of movement on the big promises—end DADT, repeal DOMA—there has been action on ending the HIV Travel Ban (set in motion by the Bush administration), and hate crimes legislation.

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