Aubrey Sarvis, the executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, spells out what it will take for repeal to happen in 2010. The President made a deal with Admiral Gates and Def. Sec. Mullen about that Pentagon Working Group Study which, if the timeline on that is followed, there will not be an end to DADT this year — unless the President decides to put it the defense reauthorization bill. Here is what is at stake at the present time. (Roll Call):

The immediate challenge is reconciling the timeline to ensure that the findings and implementation recommendations of the Pentagon Working Group are received and considered in an expeditious manner by both committees. This should be spelled out in the repeal legislation now before the committees.

The Senate DADT repeal leaders, Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and House champion Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) are all aware of the need to ensure that the recommendations coming from the Pentagon are carefully considered before DADT is changed. Here are some recommendations for the committee leaders to consider:

1. DADT investigations and discharges will not end until the recommendations of the Pentagon Working Group have been received and considered; Secretary Gates will retain authority over this process.

2. Under the present schedule, the PWG will make its recommendations by Dec. 1, and 60 days later, DOD can issue directions and instructions to each service on how to proceed with open service.

3. An additional 60 days after that, each service can issue regulations.

4. Therefore, DADT would not be repealed until 180 days after the bill is signed.

5. And in early 2012, the committees can consider any additional recommendations from the Pentagon.

Congress is on the brink of repealing this law. This is no time to stumble over an arbitrary timeline and who should be waiting for whom. What is needed is a game change and sensible language that brings the Pentagon and the White House together with leaders on Capitol Hill to repeal DADT this year.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding