This week, the highest-ranking leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines appeared before Congress to testify on the repeal of DADT. I got an email this morning from HRC crowing about how military leaders support the strategy of Mullen/Gates to repeal DADT. The way this release is phrased sounds as if DADT will be repealed soon, with overwhelming support of military leaders and public opinion.
Joe Solmonse writes:
The leaders of our military service branches told Congress that they back Adm. Mullen and Secretary Gates’ roadmap for repeal and would absolutely be capable of carrying out orders abolishing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when Congress and the president send those orders their way.
The testimony given by the service chiefs this week only furthers the belief that whatever orders are handed to them by their superiors, our men and women in uniform will have no trouble carrying out those orders with honor and professionalism.
I'm not arguing with the sentiment of Salmonese' statement, but things sound a bit different on the Marine Times, the official military news website:
The top officers of the Marine Corps and Navy said Wednesday that they oppose repealing the 17-year-old policy banning gays from serving openly in the military until a one-year study on its effects is completed by the Pentagon.
Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway and Navy Adm. Gary Roughead made the point during a budget hearing before the House Armed Services Committee.
“That needs to be done, because only with that information can we talk about the force we have,” Roughead said of the proposed study. “We need to proceed down that path.”
There will be no movement on DADT for a year — after this Mullens/Gates study is done — and then the real discussion can begin. The Advocate is reporting that Senator Lieberman is working on a bill. But again, there is no timetable on when this bill would be introduced into congress or what it would include.
Joe Solomonse and HRC have come under a lot of pressure of late from activists and bloggers who feel Solmonese hasn't done much to move our legislation along. If you've forgotten HRC is our lobby on the Hill, their reason for being is to wheel and deal, and pressure legislators — just like the NRA, the Banks, and big Pharma does for their constituents. One year has passed and we got the Federal Hate Crimes bill passed, a bill that had been sitting in wait, ready since the Bush Administration.
To put this into even better perspective watch this video from the Advocate, where reporter Kerry Eleveld teases out the issues interviewing Solmonese and other activists. You can't help but feel that Solomonse is content at being invited to the table, eating his cake and then bragging that he went. If the LGBT community gets no legislation passed this year, I predict the board at HRC will give Solmonse the boot. And if they don't, then no right minded LGBT person (who is still supporting HRC) should give them another cent.