CommunityPam's House Blend

Rinse, repeat: Obama admin aggressively defending DADT in court

WTF? Didn’t we hear during the HRC dinner that the President was working on repeal as we speak?

In a move consistent with other contradictory behavior on LGBT issues, the Obama administration has directed its Justice Department to file an extraordinary motion to get Log Cabin Republicans’ lawsuit against the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law thrown out of court, despite a federal judge’s ruling that it can proceed. The 11th-hour move for interlocutory appeal, which seeks to stay proceedings and block discovery, was surprisingly formulated at the same time that President Obama was reassuring LGBT activists that he still firmly opposes the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner earlier this month in Washington, DC.

“After President Obama clearly stated that his highest priority for the LGBT community was to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, it is quite troubling to see this ‘about face,'” said Terry W. Hamilton, national Chairman of the Log Cabin Republicans. “This aggressive move by President Obama’s Justice Department seriously undermines not only his commitment to our community and to the defense of our nation, but it also casts doubt on the motives of those at the highest levels of LGBT leadership in Washington who refuse to criticize the President over this double speak.”

Let’s go back to the keynote transcript

We are moving ahead on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  (Applause.)  We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country.  We should be celebrating their willingness to show such courage and selflessness on behalf of their fellow citizens, especially when we’re fighting two wars.  (Applause.)

We cannot afford to cut from our ranks people with the critical skills we need to fight any more than we can afford — for our military’s integrity — to force those willing to do so into careers encumbered and compromised by having to live a lie. So I’m working with the Pentagon, its leadership, and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy.  Legislation has been introduced in the House to make this happen.  I will end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  That’s my commitment to you.  (Applause.)

The jerking around, no matter what reasoning the WH offers, is unconscionable. Instead of the lofty promises in the speech, and instead of another blindside, he should have had the stones to preempt this repeat two-faced appearance by saying in the keynote some blather about “continued legal defense of this discriminatory policy is necessary” and take the heat right there in the room. Stop the game-playing.

So what does HRC have to say about this, I wonder?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding