Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank said on Wednesday that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the current military policy handling homosexuals in the armed forces, is likely to be repealed in the next year’s Department of Defense authorization bill, according to The Advocate.
DADT, an administrative policy initiated in 1993 by President Clinton, permits homosexuals to serve in the military if they keep their homosexual behavior and attractions secret, and ensures that military recruits will not be asked if they are homosexual. Nevertheless, the service of homosexuals in the military remains explicitly prohibited by law, despite the DADT policy.
The legal ban has long been a target for homosexualist advocates, even while others have criticized the administrative policy as misleading or excessively permissive.
Frank said that he has been in communication with the White House, Nancy Pelosi, and other congressional leaders. He said that the White House was committed to repealing the measure, mentioning as an anecdote that the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had switched from speaking about ‘if’ DADT would be repealed to speaking about ‘when’ DADT would be repealed. “That’s because Rahm called him up,” Frank continued. “The White House has been consistently committed.”
Such action would fulfill President Obama’s recent promises delivered in a speech to the homosexualist Human Rights Campaign.
“We cannot afford to cut from our ranks people with the critical skills we need to fight any more than we can afford — for our military’s integrity — to force those willing to do so into careers encumbered and compromised by having to live a lie,” the President said. “So I’m working with the Pentagon, its leadership, and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy.”
Frank’s remarks, however, are some of the first that indicate the timing and the method whereby the White House would attempt to lift ban on homosexuals in the military. President Obama has been harshly criticized by homosexual advocates for failing to act quickly enough to lift the ban.
Adding their voice to those crying for the ban’s repeal, the American Medical Association also voted on Tuesday to oppose the DADT policy, contending that such a policy harms homosexuals by keeping them from being honest with their doctors.
Not all of those lobbying the White House are attempting to lift the ban, however; much evidence suggests that members of the armed forces largely wish to retain it.
An open letter recently signed by more than one-thousand military flag and general officers urges President Obama to retain the current law prohibiting homosexuals from serving in the military, saying that changing it “would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all echelons, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.”
Such arguments have been echoed by other members of the military.
“The presence of openly gay men … would elevate tensions and disrupt unit cohesion and morale,” according to Sergeant Major Brian Jones, Ret., in testimony before Congress in 2008 regarding the repeal of the ban.
“I find it surprising that we are here today to talk about this issue of repealing the 1993 law,” he said. “Our Soldiers are over-tasked with deploying, fighting, redeploying, refitting, and deploying again. … With all of the important issues that require attention, it is difficult to understand why a minority faction is demanding that their concerns be given priority over more important issues.”
Despite such objections, the Defense Department reauthorization bill could be voted on next year and take effect by October 1, 2010, according to Frank. He also said than an executive order could prevent homosexuals from being discharged from the military even before then.
“Once the bill is passed, even if it hasn’t yet taken effect at that point, the president could justify a stop-loss order because it would no longer be the law — it’s just a matter of time,” Frank said.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Obama Criticizes People with “Old Attitudes” in Keynote Speech at Homosexualist Dinner http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09101308.html
Obama to Allow Open Homosexuals in Military