Monday, July 13, 2009

Gillibrand Makes A Move Against DADT

The president may not be doing anything, or much of anything, about it, but New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is leading the fight. She is considering bringing the battle over Don't Ask, Don't Tell to the Senate this week, by introducing an amendment that would put an 18-month moratorium on the discharge of gays serving in the military.

It would be the first time since the implementation of DADT that senators will be forced to declare their position on the gay ban. If Gillibrand's amendment passes, many gay-rights leaders expect it would also pass in the House and then be signed by President Obama.

While there already is a bill introduced in the House, by Congressman Patrick Murphy, to repeal DADT, Gillibrand's move would circumvent a long legislative process at a time when an average of two gay soldiers per day are being discharged.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Service Members Legal Defense Network, which advocate for gay and lesbian members of the military, were involved in pushing the amendment, and just this past week leaders from both groups shopped the idea around to various Senate offices, hoping to find the best possible sponsor.

"We went and explored this idea with several senators who were interested in doing something with DADT," says Kevin Nix, communications director for Service Members Legal Defense Network. "Gillibrand is one of those senators we've talking to about doing this."

Senator Gillibrand has been an outspoken opponent of the policy and has vowed to repeal the ban. Facing a contested primary next year, Gillibrand is trying to gain support from New York's gay community. Gillibrand has also been an outspoken supporter of Lt. Dan Choi, an Arab linguist who lost his job because of the policy. Choi, who served for 15 months in Iraq, has helped make the ban on gays a front-and-center issue. Dan Choi is the 266th service member to be kicked out since Obama took office.

Two-hundred-sixty-six too many.


It's Daddies. Plural. said...

just found your blog and wanted to let you know that I'm really enjoying it! Thanks!

Wonder Man said...

Her move is considered political at best. She up for re-election, but we will see what happens

Mark in DE said...

We need more allies like this!

P.S. My verification word: nelly