Is there an end in sight for the "Don't ask Don't tell policy?"

Posted on 11. Oct, 2009 by in Uncategorized

I started out this year like many other fellow liberals happy that Obama was making changes to move our country past the 1950s. He pledged to close Guantanamo Bay and he repealed Bush’s ban on providing aid to foreign clinics that perform abortions within the first few weeks. But as the year has worn on I am beginning to think that these changes, are little more than broad statements, with not foundation in reality.

And so we get to October 11, 2009. Thousand of gay rights activists marched in Washington D.C. to promote gay rights on issues like marriage, equality at work, and removing the ban on homosexuals in the military. Obama announced on Saturday that he would repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that bans openly gay soldiers in the military. As with many of his broad statements, he issued no time line for when this would actually happen.

Cleve Jones, the creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt spoke to Associate Press and said:

Obama delivered a brilliant speech, but added “it lacked the answer to our most pressing question, which is when.”
“He repeated his promises that he’s made to us before, but he did not indicate when he would accomplish these goals and we’ve been waiting for a while now.”

When you get down to the bottom of it, the Obama administration is trying to be everywhere at once. Considering the ongoing debate over Prop 8 and media attention the issue of gay marriage has gained this year, it is also important to address the ability of homosexuals to openly serve in the military.
But, he is currently dealing with two wars, health care reform, a debilitating economic crisis, growing power in China, and of course Iran. As important as it is to address equal rights for homosexuals in the military, will he able to make this change with so much already on his plate? As today’s march proved this issue is of vast importance to millions of Americans.
And without a legitimate time table, the administration will have to respond to hundreds of cries for action, when gay soldiers are still serving under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy months from now. His heart seems to be in the right place. But isn’t he starting to sound like every other politician? Making promises he can’t necessarily keep?

Obama publicly has previously committed himself to repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they don’t disclose their sexual orientation or act on it. But Obama hasn’t taken any concrete steps urging Congress to rescind the policy, and his national security adviser last weekend would only say that Obama will focus on overturning it “at the right time.”

If only we knew what the right time is.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.