GOLDEN– On his eighth trip to swing-state Colorado this election year, President Obama came to this scenic town in battleground Jefferson County to energize and recruit ground troops to help his campaign win the state’s nine electoral college votes, just as he did in 2008.
Posts Tagged Don\’t Ask Don\’t Tell
While the American military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was rescinded late in 2011, its negative effects linger for some veterans discharged under the policy.
DENVER– At a state Senate committee hearing on a same-sex civil unions bill held here Wednesday, a series of witnesses battered Republican lawmakers opposed to the bill, suggesting they were confused in their ideology, nonstrategic in their thinking and enslaved to an outdated anti-gay “hateful bigoted mantra.” The harsh criticism came not from Democrats and their allies but from Republicans testifying in favor of the bill on the basis of conservative principles and out of partisan interest in the future success of the party.
On a conference call with supporters of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom coalition on Tuesday evening, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said she would reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, while agreeing with a caller who said allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military would “destroy the armed forces.”
DENVER– Veterans, state lawmakers and Democratic Party officials gathered on the capitol steps here Monday to celebrate the end of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which for the last 18 years barred gay Americans from serving openly in the military. The Pentagon on Tuesday is offically lifting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell across all branches of the armed services in accordance with legislation passed last December. At a time when nearly any issue can generate incendiary political rhetoric and gridlock Congress, the end of the controversial military policy is being lauded as a rare bipartisan victory for equality and common sense and a sign of progress in service of the nation.
While it might seem logical, given the nation’s latest job numbers, that when Congress returns after an August recess its members will be focused on the economy, unemployment and the national deficit, at least one federal lawmaker from California is hoping to switch the conversation to gays and lesbians in the military.
More than two centuries after America’s first military skirmish, gay and lesbian Americans can now serve openly in the military. President Obama today announced that the military was finally ready to implement a policy of openly welcoming people of all sexual persuasions.
With the “Obamacare-repeal” legislation passed yesterday in the U.S. House, California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter has introduced the next Republican Congress repeal effort. Hunter’s “Restore Military Readiness Act” is reopening debate on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 17-year-old policy lifted by lawmakers in December that banned gay soldiers from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. Hunter’s bill, which Colorado’s Doug Lamborn signed onto as a co-sponsor, is already being criticized not as a true policy initiative but as a way to revisit the issue of gay rights and military readiness that generated sparks during the last days of the previous Democratic-controlled session of Congress.
Openly gay Colorado Congressman Jared Polis took to the floor of the House Wednesday to commend U.S. leaders for putting an end to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Clinton-era policy banning gay members of the military from serving openly. Gay citizens will “hold their heads a little higher as Americans,” Polis said soon after President Obama signed the repeal. “We are closer to equal treatment under the law, which is all we have ever asked for. Our government will no longer be an instrument of discrimination against us.”
Members of the government in Washington, reviled by the majority of the American public as a pack of petty partisan do-nothings, took action this weekend. Democrats and Republicans joined together in an inspired last-ditch effort that succeeded in repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy banning gay soldiers from serving openly. The 17-year-old policy reflected a confused transitional moment in U.S. history. It was written by military brass referencing no serious empirical data. It asked soldiers to lie to each other and to their commanding officers. It resulted in tens of thousands of discharges and hundreds of millions of wasted dollars on education, combat training and legal fees. Even though the policy’s end came too late to prevent the career disasters that befell gay service members such as CU Boulder Air Force ROTC Cadet Mara Boyd, maybe it came in time to see many of those careers resurrected.