'Don't Ask' me yet
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN):
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), released a statement today after the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) supporting the legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year. Earlier today, SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis attended a meeting with White House officials.
Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:
“The White House announcement is a dramatic breakthrough in dismantling ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ The path forward crafted by the President, Department of Defense officials, and repeal leaders on Capitol Hill respects the ongoing work by the Pentagon on how to implement open service and allows for a vote this week. President Obama’s support and Secretary Gates’ buy-in should insure a winning vote, but we are not there yet. The votes still need to be worked and counted.
“If enacted this welcomed compromise will create a process for the President and the Pentagon to implement a new policy for lesbian and gay service members to serve our country openly, hopefully within a matter of a few months. This builds upon the support Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed for open service during the February hearing in the Senate, and further underscores that this Administration is committed to open service.
“We would not have reached this moment without the leadership and commitment of our allies on the Hill – Senators Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin, and Congressman Patrick Murphy; they all worked tirelessly to get us this far.
“For the upcoming votes in the House and Senate to succeed, it is critical that all proponents for full repeal weigh in now. The blogosphere and activists have been admirably pressing for full repeal this year and we are grateful for their help. Everyone in support of repeal needs to continue contacting their Members of Congress and ask for the vote.” [SOURCE]
"We are on the brink of historic action to both strengthen our military and respect the service of lesbian and gay troops,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Today’s announcement paves the path to fulfill the President’s call to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this year and puts us one step closer to removing this stain from the laws of our nation."
The proposal would allow Congress to vote to repeal the current DADT law now with implementation to follow upon completion of the Pentagon Working Group study due December 1, 2010. The President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs would need to certify that implementation policies and regulations are prepared and that they are consistent with standards for readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention. The plan therefore addresses concerns expressed by the Pentagon that the implementation study process be respected.
“Without a repeal vote by Congress this year, the Pentagon’s hands are tied and the armed forces will be forced to continue adhering to the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law,” said Solmonese. “A solution has emerged: Congress needs to vote to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ now.” [SOURCE]
A letter from Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag in response to a letter from Sens. Levin, Lieberman and Congressman Patrick Murphy:
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