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2008 candidates and their stances on DADT

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network‘s blog, The Frontlines, has a good roundup of the positions of some of the prospective 2008 prez candidates regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. 

In a nutshell:

* Former Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK), who’s running for the Dem nom (though you wouldn’t know it based on the lack of MSM coverage), called for DADT’s repeal on his web site, saying “The law flies in the face of common sense, and undermines our nation’s commitment to equal opportunity. As commander-in-chief, I will welcome every qualified American, regardless of sexual orientation, who wants to serve in our fighting forces.”

* Ohio Dem Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who announced his second try for the White House this week, was on the record the last time around in support of of the right for openly gay and lesbian citizens to serve.

* sHillary is already on the record for the repeal of this nonsensical policy. “Gays and lesbians already serve with distinction in our nation’s armed forces and should not face discrimination. Fitness to serve should be based on an individual’s conduct, not their sexual orientation.”

* General Wesley Clark (Ret.), who is rumbling about running, served as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander. He wants DADT repealed. “I believe that the military needs to rethink the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. It does not serve this country to discriminate against people who want to serve in our armed forces. I would ask the military to craft and implement a policy that ensures that everyone who wants to serve their country is permitted to do so with honor and dignity.”

* Both John Edwards (and John Kerry) supported dumping DADT in 2004. Edwards: “As the recent discharge of Arabic language specialists demonstrates, the current policy does not serve our national interests and should be changed.”

* Rudy Giuliani supports lifting the ban.

* Who knows what Mitt Romney believes? It depends on which way the wind is blowing. If you look at the infamous 1994 letter to the Massachusetts Log Cabin chapter, he seems to be in favor of a repeal. “I believe that there will be change over time as the military establishment and the rank and file become more comfortable with the realities of sexual orientation in the military.” Since he’s trying to hop in bed with the fundies these days, he may have retreated on this. [Actually, I just found an article from the other day, and Mitt makes it clear that he now agrees with maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Mitt is still being dogged about his flip-flop positions on gay rights issues. At this point, since his handlers cannot find a way to reconcile his 1994 pro-gay posturing when he was battling Ted Kennedy in that Senate race with his newfound fundie ass-kissing anti-gay persona.  At this point, he’s simply avoiding questions on the matter.]

* I think it’s safe to say that Sam Brownback has no problem with DADT.

* The faux maverick Rethug Tool John McCain proudly supports the status quo, the bastard.

When asked by Edge reporter Peter Cassels his position on DADT, McCain replied, “All the senior members of the military say that it’s working.” When asked directly if he would vote for Massachusetts Congressman Marty Meehan’s bill (H.R. 1059) to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, McCain said, “No.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding