CNN’s Soledad O’Brien did a great piece on DADT (non-repeal compromise) last night on CNN. She had a great grasp on the subject and talked to SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis, who reminded gay and lesbian servicemembers that the law hasn’t been repealed yet and NOT TO COME OUT, an anonymous gay soldier still serving and Mike Almy, an Air Force Major, who was discharged under DADT. Almy’s quote though really says it all:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has a grand plan to withhold federal dollars from the Pentagon for the use of investigating Don’t Ask Don’t Tell charges. Except gay rights advocates don’t think this is the best way to go about things. (Because we all know that they think that thier way is the ONLY way.)
Gillibrand has quickly worked up a reputation as a friend to LGBTs, one thing is becoming clear: She’s not taking cues from the folks claiming to represent them. According to The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s Aubrey Sarvis: “It’s helpful to talk about cutting funding for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ discharges, but we must be strategic about when such a move would be made and now is premature.”
(Premature? Its a measure to just stop discharges until this clusterfuck of a repeal goes through.)
Instead, Sarvis wants to build on the Senate’s DADT hearings that has the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs chairman, and the White House on the same page about a repeal. Pushing for a vote for the full-on repeal of DADT, perhaps via the Military Readiness Act, is his preferred game plan. Which would take at least a year or two and lead to many more discharges in the mean time.
Whats surprising is that these military groups are publically disapproving of Gillibrand’s technique is that their distrust of the senator’s strategy also means they were not, and are not in agreement with Gilliibrand’s office on how to move forward which probably means one of two things.
Gillibrand’s play on DADT might just be a calculated November election move or does she have a clearer picture of where her lawmaking colleagues stand than activist groups?
If I were to pick I would say its the latter and not the former.