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House Dems submit bill to reverse 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA): “The policy is a proven failure.” CA Repug Duncan Hunter’s war on terror is actually a war on the homos – DADT is too lenient for him.

Well, this is going to be one uphill battle in this Congress, even with a GAO report outlining DADT’s legacy of forcing out over 750 foreign-language translators, code-breakers, interrogators, and counterintelligence specialists. That little venture has cost us over $200 million and untold progress on the anti-terrorism front. (Boston.com):

A group of more than 50 House members filed a bill yesterday that would reverse the 12-year-old ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in uniform, arguing that the ban against them undermines national security at a time when the military is struggling to recruit soldiers.

…”The policy is a proven failure,” said Representative Martin T. Meehan, a Lowell Democrat who is the bill’s lead sponsor. ”In a time of war, it’s outrageous that the military continues to discharge thousands of experienced, courageous, dedicated service members, with many of the critical skills that are needed in the war on terror, for reasons that have nothing to do with their conduct in uniform.”

The bill is a long shot in the GOP-controlled Congress; of its 53 sponsors, only one — Representative Christopher Shays of Connecticut — is a Republican. The House Armed Services Committee will take up the measure; its chairman Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, favors a complete ban on gays in the military, and said the ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is too lenient.

[this spin is just plain sad…snowball’s chance…] Patrick Guerriero, president of the gay-rights group Log Cabin Republicans, acknowledged that ”a lot of work” has to be done to persuade his fellow Republicans in Congress. But he said the political climate has changed greatly since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, because of the increased strain on the US military. Some coalition forces serving in the war on terror are now being led by openly gay British officers, with no ill effects on morale or job performance, Guerriero said.

Meehan’s bill has been endorsed by eight retired generals and admirals, including three who are the highest-ranking US officers to come out publicly as gay or lesbian. On another front, the ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is being challenged in court in two separate cases: one involving 12 soldiers who were dismissed from their units and another involving an undisclosed number of service members still in uniform but not openly homosexual.

Thanks to House Blend reader Cat for the pointer.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding