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Conservatives Line Up Against DADT Repeal Even Though Most Americans Support It

This post originally appeared on Daily Kos. As was reported last night, the White House has signed off on an agreement to repeal the military's odious "don't ask, don't tell" policy by way of an amendment to the upcoming Defense Authorization bill that is expected to be voted on later this week. Spencer Ackerman of The Washington Independent has the full text of the amendment which verifies that:
... the current policy would remain in place and implementation of repeal would not occur until after the Pentagon’s working group study is finished in December. Further, completion of repeal would require certification from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs chair Adm. Mike Mullen that the new law will not have a negative impact on readiness, recruitment, retention, and other key factors affecting the military.
Naturally the usual suspects are lining up against it ... there's John "flip-flop" McCain (R-AZ) who's still waving around his discredited letter signed by dead men and Alzheimer patients, and Mike Pence (R-IN) who claims:
"The American people don't want the American military to be used to advance a liberal political agenda."
... despite the fact that 78% of all Americans favor repealing the ban. Then there's the Family Research Council ... who, it should be noted, was co-founded by George "Rentboy" Rekers ... who are claiming that Iraq War veteran Patrick Murphy's (D-PA) support for the repeal means he "doesn't respect the military's opinion" ... except for the 73% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who favor the repeal. And of course there are the conservative Democrats:
... who have suggested they are wary of any repeal unless the Pentagon specifically endorses the move.
Well, boys, good news:
"Secretary Gates continues to believe that ideally the DOD review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law. With Congress having indicated that is not possible, the Secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment.”
So there you have it. The only thing left to overcome is bigotry. Of course the bottom line is, this won't mean that "don't ask, don't tell" has been repealed, it will mean it's been deferred ... but it is at least, and finally, a positive step. Here's the complete text of the amendment: Committee Amendment Proposed by Mr. Lieberman
(1) IN GENERAL.—On March 2, 2010, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum directing the Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. § 654 (section 654 of title 10, United States Code).
(2) OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF REVIEW.—The Terms of Reference accompanying the Secretary’s memorandum established the following objectives and scope of the ordered review:
(A) Determine any impacts to military readiness, military effectiveness and unit cohesion, recruiting/retention, and family readiness that may result from repeal of the law and recommend any actions that should be taken in light of such impacts.
(B) Determine leadership, guidance, and training on standards of conduct and new policies.
(C) Determine appropriate changes to existing policies and regulations, including but not limited to issues regarding personnel management, leadership and training, facilities, investigations, and benefits.
(D) Recommend appropriate changes (if any) to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
(E) Monitor and evaluate existing legislative proposals to repeal 10 U.S.C. § 654 and proposals that may be introduced in the Congress during the period of the review.
(F) Assure appropriate ways to monitor the workforce climate and military effectiveness that support successful follow-through on implementation.
(G) Evaluate the issues raised in ongoing litigation involving 10 U.S.C. § 654. (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by subsection (f) shall take effect only on the date on which
the last of the following occurs:
(1) The Secretary of Defense has received the
report required by the memorandum of the Secretary referred to in subsection (a).
(2) The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:
(A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.
(B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).
(C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces. (c) NO IMMEDIATE EFFECT ON CURRENT POLICY.— Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect. (d) BENEFITS.—Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to
require the furnishing of benefits in violation of section 9 7 of title 1, United States Code (relating to the definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” and referred to as the “Defense of Marriage Act”). (e) NO PRIVATE CAUSE OF ACTION.—Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to create a private cause of action. (f) TREATMENT OF 1993 POLICY.—
(1) TITLE10.—Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), chapter 37 of title 10, 18 United States Code, is amended—
(A) by striking section 654; and (B) in the table of sections at the beginning of such chapter, by striking the item relating to section 654.
(2) CONFORMINGAMENDMENT.—Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), section ARM10802 S.L.C. 571 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (10 U.S.C. 654 note) is amended by striking subsections (b), (c), and (d).
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