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DADT Repeal To Get High-Profile Endorsement From Obama In SOTU

President Obama will reportedly discuss repealing the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy in tomorrow night’s State of the Union Address. This was apparently the reason why Carl Levin postponed a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the policy, scheduled for this week.

Levin was told to hold off on announcing the hearing until after the president’s address Wednesday, according to a Senate aide. Levin was also told that Obama will address the issue of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in his speech on Wednesday, but Levin does not know what’s in the speech, the aide added. Levin also mentioned this in a huddle with reporters on Monday.

A source familiar with some details of the initial draft of the State of the Union said it would address the repeal of the controversial law. Obama has made it his campaign promise to repeal the Clinton-era law. Obama has come under increasing pressure from gay-rights advocates to move on the repeal.

As John Aravosis notes, a passing mention of DADT will not be quite enough here – Obama needs to lay out a strategy for passage, followed up by concrete steps beyond that. But Levin’s postponement in anticipation of a high-profile mention does appear to be good news for gay rights advocates, who have been unhappy with the pace of change under the Obama Administration.

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David Dayen

David Dayen