NOW thanks all of the senators who voted to recognize the right of lesbians and gay men to serve openly in the military, especially those who for years have taken a lead role in the struggle. We also recognize the courage of the Republican senators who broke ranks to end the filibuster and move to a vote on this historic legislation.
NOW has long been concerned about the disproportionate impact of Don't Ask Don't Tell on women. According to the Service Women's Action Network, sexual harassment of military women frequently takes the form of lesbian baiting. An indication of the lopsided impact of the policy is that, in 2008, 34 percent of service members discharged were women even though women constitute only 15 percent of military personnel.
Military leaders have endorsed repeal and are confident that the troops and their families are ready, and that repeal will not negatively affect military readiness, unit cohesion, unit effectiveness, or retention. The public is also ready. Numerous polls show a majority of Republicans, Independents, Democrats, conservatives, moderates, liberals and frequent church goers support ending Don't Ask Don't Tell.
The president is expected to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk. NOW urges military leaders to move forward rapidly to certify and implement its provisions as soon as the bill becomes law. Lesbian and gay service members should not have to wait a single unnecessary day to have the same right as heterosexuals to serve openly in the military.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki w. 202-628-8669, ext. 116, c. 202-595-4473
NOW released the above today. As Marcia pointed out last night, one of the real heroes on this in the Congress was Joe Lieberman. That was obivous by December 2nd. You can see that day's snapshot for coverage of Lieberman at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell review the Pentagon conducted. And Ava covered the hearing at Trina's site with "Senators Scott Brown and Roland Burris (Ava)," Wally covered it at Rebecca's site with "Senate Armed Services Committee" and Kat covered it at her own site with "Where I find time to praise Ben Nelson." From Joe Lieberman's office, we'll note:
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Senate, by a vote of 65-31, today passed legislation that will repeal the discriminatory policy barring homosexuals from serving openly in the military. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the lead sponsor of the “’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Act of 2010,” issued the following statement:
“Repealing ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ is the right thing to do whether you're liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, or independent. It is the right thing to do for our military and the right thing to do for our country. The sixty-five Senators who voted to correct this injustice showed that we’re still able to come together in a bipartisan way to fight for America’s best interests.”
In the House, Patrick Murphy deserves credit for his efforts to strip the repeal out of the Defense Authorization (it never should have been there -- for those who weren't following, blame that on Barney Frank who repeatedly lied including insisting it would be in the authorization proposed in the fall of 2009) this month. Ed O'Keefe (Washington Post) has a roundup of reactions here. It's a victory for those serving. A victory for LGBT rights? In the abstract. In the concrete? Read the bill that passed:
H.R.2965 -- Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (Engrossed Amendment House - EAH)
HR 2965 EAH
In the House of Representatives, U. S.,
December 15, 2010.
Resolved, That the House agree to the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 2965) entitled 'An Act to amend the Small Business Act with respect to the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program, and for other purposes.', with the following
HOUSE AMENDMENT TO SENATE AMENDMENT:
In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the amendment of the Senate, insert the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010'.
SEC. 2. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE POLICY CONCERNING HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE ARMED FORCES.
(a) Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654-
(1) IN GENERAL- On March 2, 2010, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum directing the Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654 (section 654 of title 10, United States Code).
(2) OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF REVIEW- The Terms of Reference accompanying the Secretary's memorandum established the following objectives and scope of the ordered review:
(A) Determine any impacts to military readiness, military effectiveness and unit cohesion, recruiting/retention, and family readiness that may result from repeal of the law and recommend any actions that should be taken in light of such impacts.
(B) Determine leadership, guidance, and training on standards of conduct and new policies.
(C) Determine appropriate changes to existing policies and regulations, including but not limited to issues regarding personnel management, leadership and training, facilities, investigations, and benefits.
(D) Recommend appropriate changes (if any) to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
(E) Monitor and evaluate existing legislative proposals to repeal 10 U.S.C. 654 and proposals that may be introduced in the Congress during the period of the review.
(F) Assure appropriate ways to monitor the workforce climate and military effectiveness that support successful follow-through on implementation.
(G) Evaluate the issues raised in ongoing litigation involving 10 U.S.C. 654.
(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (f) shall take effect 60 days after the date on which the last of the following occurs:
(1) The Secretary of Defense has received the report required by the memorandum of the Secretary referred to in subsection (a).
(2) The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:
(A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report's proposed plan of action.
(B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).
(C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.
(c) No Immediate Effect on Current Policy- Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect.
(d) Benefits- Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to require the furnishing of benefits in violation of section 7 of title 1, United States Code (relating to the definitions of `marriage' and `spouse' and referred to as the 'Defense of Marriage Act').
(e) No Private Cause of Action- Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to create a private cause of action.
(f) Treatment of 1993 Policy-
(1) TITLE 10- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), chapter 37 of title 10, United States Code, is amended--
(A) by striking section 654; and
(B) in the table of sections at the beginning of such chapter, by striking the item relating to section 654.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), section 571 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (10 U.S.C. 654 note) is amended by striking subsections (b), (c), and (d).
HOUSE AMENDMENT TO SENATE AMENDMENT
Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed. That's a good thing. But don't confuse that with the Congress putting some on the books that prevents discrimination based upon sexual orientation because that didn't happen. All they did was wipe the books clean. And, under Barack, that may mean gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military but it's a short-term fix if and when a Republican gets into office and decides to change it. How can that happen?
After 50 years of gays and lesbians serving openly, it would require a major witch hunt and/or scare. But two or six years from now? It wouldn't be too hard to create some 'studies' that 'find' the military was harmed and to get the talking points in order. I'm not saying that'll happen but I am saying that's why in cases where we DO NOT want discrimination, we outlaw discrimination.
The Congress didn't outlaw it. All they did was remove Don't Ask, Don't Tell from the books. (In fact, section 2's subsections "d" and "e" spit on equality, or are we not supposed to notice that?)
The following community sites -- and Liberal Oasis, Antiwar.com, Washington Week, CCR and FSRN -- updated last night and today:
Grandmothers Against the War's Joan Wile is the author of Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace. She took part in an NYC action on Thursday:
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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