CommunityPam's House Blend

More folks on the Hill sign on to repeal DADT

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act has just received a boost, with four more Congressional lawmakers coming on board to repeal the unfair treatment of gay servicemen and women under the Clinton-launched travesty known as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. (SLDN):

Republican Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Democratic lawmakers Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Julia Carson (D-IN), and Michael Doyle (D-PA) join 110 other Members of Congress in calling for repeal of the gay ban. Boehlert is the fifth Republican co-sponsor and McKinney joins nine other members of the House Armed Services Committee who are also co-sponsors of the bill (H.R. 1059). In all, 114 Members of Congress now support the legislation, introduced in March 2005 by Congressman Marty Meehan (D-MA).

There has been something of a political soap opera going on regarding McKinney’s endorsement of the bill, with McKinney’s chief of staff, Warren Miller, and her pop, Billy McKinney tussling with gay activists over whether she would sign on. There were a lot of bruised egos over Cynthia McKinney’s loss in 2002, and she wanted assurance that she would receive endorsements from the gay community in her current race against Hank Johnson in the Democratic primary, which is in July. Sigh, politics. (SoVo):

At the March 18 meeting, Billy McKinney chastised gay voters for allegedly not supporting his daughter in 2002 when she lost her congressional seat to Denise Majette. McKinney regained her seat in 2004 and, until this week, had not signed on to co-sponsor any of the pro-gay measures tracked by the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay political group that endorsed her in 2002, but not in her comeback bid.

During the meeting, Billy McKinney suggested that gay groups needed to endorse his daughter to ensure her support for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “I want your names saying you support her campaign right now and I’ll make it public,” he told attendees.

In the end, as you see, she finally came around.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding