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Obama will Ask & Tell, just not as a lone voice

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 15-51Make no mistake: He's against Don't Ask, Don't Tell. However, it's going to take more than his own opinions to rid the world of the needless ban. This from the AP:

Obama said in an interview to run in gay publications Thursday that he wants to work with military leaders to build a consensus on removing the ban on openly gay service members in the armed forces. He said that wouldn’t be accomplished by attaching a signing statement to a military spending bill, a process that President Bush has used to set other military policies.

"I want to make sure that when we revert ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ it’s gone through a process and we’ve built a consensus or at least a clarity of what my expectations are so that it works. My first obligation as the president is to make sure that I keep the American people safe and that our military is functioning effectively,” Obama said. “Although I have consistently said I would repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ I believe that the way to do it is make sure that we are working through a process, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be.”

It remains to be seen what actions a President Obama would take to build a consensus for military equality. Though considering a President McCain's professed DADT support would build on the con-that-the-sin-is-us, we'll take our chances with the former's pragmatism.

Obama won’t repeal ‘DADT’ on his own [AP via 365Gay]

**UPDATE: Here is the Q&A wherein Obama made the above statement: Q&A with Barack Obama [365]

**RELATED: Here's a pro-DADT letter that John McCain sent to the Service Members Legal Defense Network back in April of 2007:

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Your thoughts

Are we reinventing this wheel yet again?

Apparently we are: DADT is a statute, an act of Congress. All that is needed is for Congress -- you know, that overwhelmingly Democratic yet underwhelmingly only-semi-gay-sympathetic body -- to pass a new act repealing it, with a president willing to sign it.

Is he therefore saying that he wouldn't sign such a bill even if Congress passes it, or would only sign it after "consensus" is achieved in the military -- you know, that same military that he would be "commander-in-chief" of?

Posted by: KipEsquire | Sep 18, 2008 9:59:13 AM

This is from a Q&A by Mark Segal here is 365 Link


and intro.

The Gay History Project’s Mark Segal has been trying for months to interview both Barack Obama and John McCain. McCain has declined participation - the Obama interview follows. There were no conditions on the interview.

Obama spoke to Mark Segal by phone Aug. 16; an audio version of the interview will be posted at www.epgn.com.

Nothing much new here especially about DADT... but this was interesting, as you can see it happening daily.

I think that the American peoples’ attitudes with respect to LGBT issues are continuing to evolve. I think people are becoming more and more aware of the need to treat all people equally regardless of sexual orientation. There are some people who disagree with that, but frankly those folks — many of them — probably have already made their minds up about this election earlier.

Posted by: LOrion | Sep 18, 2008 10:03:26 AM

KipEsquire, my interpretation is that Obama wants to make sure we don't just repeal the actual legislation, but also and unofficial policy that preceded it. DADT didn't start with Bill Clinton, it was a long-standing (from my understanding, at least) unspoken rule. Clinton just codified it.

Obama's saying that we need to not just get rid of the codification, but make sure that the military leaders don't revert to unofficial discrimination.

I think it's a reasonable plan.

Posted by: Matt Algren | Sep 18, 2008 10:22:18 AM

Kip: I too find his response a little wordy and a tad frustrating. But one point from the full questioning (found at the link LOrion provided above): He was asked a direct question about how he would do it. So I don't think he's saying (and certainly hope he's not saying) that he WOULDN'T support and sign a bill -- I think he's just saying that if he had his druthers, this is how he would do it, so as to ensure everyone's peaceful and permanent adjustment to it.

To me it sounds like careful wording during a heavily scrutinized political season.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 18, 2008 10:24:47 AM

Obama knows he has the gay vote wrapped up. He is now moving slowly away from us, since the primaries, in order to appeal to all the bigots he's going to need to elect him President.
He'd be aghast if asked whether he supported separate-but-equal regarding race, but has no problem with it regarding gay marriage. DADT, DOMA, ENDA -- all the things he seemed so bravely and forcefully pro-gay on...well, now he's talking about building consensus, going slow, accepting half-loaves, etc.
I had always said that I would still vote for him as the lesser of the two evils. Now, I have decided to simply not vote in the Presidential race. He will have to win without me.

Posted by: Too Gay for Obama | Sep 18, 2008 3:24:20 PM

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