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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Issue:
Don't Ask Don't Tell On Track To Be Repealed

The Issue
Don't Ask Don't Tell

About the Issue
Don't Ask Don't Tell (aka DADT) is the commonly used term for the 1993 enacted U.S. Military's policy that currently bans openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT) from actively serving in the military. (IOW: LGBT persons can serve in the military as long as they are not public about their sexual orientation.)

Recent Developments

A campaign promise made by President Obama to repeal the current DADT policy was by in large unrecognized during his first year in office.  In January 2010 Obama teamed with congressional officials to work on including a repeal of the DADT policy within the defense appropriations bill for 2011.  On January 27, 2010, during his State of the Union Address, President Obama stated explicitly his intentions to have DADT repealed:


United States Navy Admiral Michael G. Mullen, ...

In response to Obama's State of the Union Address assertions on the matter, a hearing to discuss the DADT policy was called on February 2, 2010.  During the hearing, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen offered his personal support for the nullification of the current policy, becoming the first sitting Joint Chiefs chairman to support the repeal.  In breaking news today, pro-repeal efforts got a huge endorsement by an unlikely source.  Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, perhaps DADT greatest proponent during the Clinton era, came out in support of repealing the policy.  From CNN:
Colin Powell: General (four-star) in the Unite...

Colin Powell, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state, has come out in favor of eventually repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay and lesbian service members.

"In the almost seventeen years since the 'don't ask, don't tell' legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed," Powell said in a statement released by his office Wednesday.
Opponents of repeal actions include former presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ).  The Arizona Senator is being chided by liberals for what they perceive as hypocritical commentary by the senator during the hearing.  (Below find Rachel Maddow's snarky breakdown of the senator's big flip flow and for you my more moderate Social Angst readers, find a less left, more objective look on the issue below courtesy of PBS.)

Many Gay activist are expressing mixed feelings about the hearing.  While they are encouraged to see real traction in the abolishment of the 16 year old biased policy, many feel that waiting a year for implementation is unreasonable.

Now that you are all caught up on The Issue, go forth, form your own opinion, engage, discuss and inform.


Sources: Wikipedia, CNN, Seattle Times.
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