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Spending our weekends doing our part on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Don't Ask Don't Tell

By Adam Bink

A few new updates on the vote-counting front for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

As I wrote yesterday, Sen. Scott Brown announced his support for repeal, although he did not say if he would vote for the motion to reconsider, which requires 60 votes and is the biggest obstacle at this point. Privately, a source very close to the lobbying process with a pro-repeal organization said Brown assured Republican leadership his commitment to not voting to move forward on anything until the tax cuts issue is resolved remains firm (as detailed in the letter signed by all 42 Republicans). So, Brown remains a moving target.

Simultaneously, Sen. Collins tracks along the same lines with this statement (bolding mine):

“Like our closest allies, the United States’ Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country.

“After hearing powerful testimony from Secretary of Defense Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen, and reviewing the results of the Pentagon report, I remain convinced that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” implemented under President Clinton, should be repealed.  And, I agree with Secretary Gates that the issue should be decided by Congress, not the courts.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I voted, last May, to include in the Defense Authorization bill language repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, subject to certification by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that there would not be a negative impact on combat effectiveness and military readiness.  It is especially reassuring to learn from the Pentagon report that, after extensive interviews and feedback from service members, nearly 70 percent say that having a gay service member in their unit would have a “positive, mixed, or no effect” on the unit’s effectiveness.

“Once the tax issue is resolved, I have made it clear that if the Majority Leader brings the Defense Authorization bill to the floor with sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments, I would vote to proceed to the bill.”

Collins voted nay on the cloture motion in September amid the Republican complaints about amendments.

The other update is that according to Ed O’Keefe at The Washington Post, the same remains true of Lugar:

In a key pickup for repeal efforts, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, said he supports ending the ban as long as the military properly prepares for the change. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) have said they would support ending the ban if Democrats permitted Republicans to introduce amendments to the defense bill.

We are closer than ever if not there. As I detailed on Monday, a lot of this is up to the Majority Leader, who has control over the amendment process. The process needs to be such that it enables pro-repeal votes to be cast. As Aubrey Sarvis, head of SLDN, told me on on the phone earlier this week:

I think the Majority Leader has to allow for a number of amendments on each side. I think discussions are underway for what that would look like- is it 10 amendments, is it 20, and is it for 30 minutes each. Most people think that would be fair in the limited time left in this session. But yes, I think there has to be amendments allowed on each side. Five won’t cut it. And yes, there’s probably even more pressure now coming from the Republican caucus, coming from Sen. McConnell for his caucus to view this as a caucus issue and to maintain discipline to not allow anything to happen in the lame duck. Fortunately, I think there are several Republican Senators who will not go along with that. But yes, it’s important.

And the rest of it is up to various Senators. Yesterday I wrote about how a vote for repeal and a vote for the motion to reconsider should be the same. That means that Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Richard Lugar are not off the hook yet. I can’t emphasize this point enough. No more process excuses. Not when we’re this close.

Next week, the real push begins as tax cut negotiations continue towards a possible deal that will enable support for a motion to reconsider. Simultaneously, our push must begin on the phones and in districts to ask swing Senators to support repeal and the motion to reconsider. HRC field organizers are on the ground in states like Massachusetts, and other pressure has been ramped up. We can use this weekend, while things are quieter, to talk to friends, family and colleagues and ask them to promise to spend a few minutes helping out. Take a minute and think about all the people you know, and how many would do you the quick favor of picking up the phone. I just dropped four friends in Massachusetts a line, and all wrote back saying they would definitely hop on the phone on Monday over lunch. If we get our straight allies and apolitical LGBT friends a nudge, we can create a larger mobilization. And sometimes the best time to do that is a day off.

Let’s do our part this weekend as we push towards the finish line.

26 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Kathleen  |  December 4, 2010 at 4:34 am

  • 2. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 4, 2010 at 4:35 am

    √ + 1

  • 3. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 4, 2010 at 4:38 am

    “Once the tax issue is resolved, I have made it clear that if the Majority Leader brings the Defense Authorization bill to the floor with sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments, I would vote to proceed to the bill.”

    Don't even count on an honest 'Pinky Swear' from them!

  • 4. Ronnie  |  December 4, 2010 at 5:20 am

    sub to the scribing….I am posting this video from last nights "What Would You Do?" on ABC about Parent's reacting badly to their child coming out to them….the situation involved 2 demonstrations…the 1st with a son coming out to his father & the 2nd a son coming out to his mother…….

    ‎"While many people were hesitant to get involved, stranger after stranger stepped in to defend a struggling teen"~ John Quinones

    I am still in tears over what was said by those who stepped in…especially the woman at the end…..<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLEVpEy8S9Q&fe

  • 5. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 4, 2010 at 5:23 am

    DADT Policy Timeline by IAVA – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
    http://iava.org/content/timeline-dont-ask-dont-te

  • 6. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 4, 2010 at 5:39 am

    How could anyone not tear up watching that Video. It was great to see how many did step in. The one with the son that goes to Rutgers hit hard.

    Thanks for that video Ronnie.

  • 7. Ann S.  |  December 4, 2010 at 6:00 am

    √+2

  • 8. Rhie  |  December 4, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Just watchin

  • 9. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 4, 2010 at 6:51 am

    What to Expect at the 9th Circuit

    Share |
    View All News
    What to Expect at the 9th Circuit
    December 3, 2010

    By Chad Griffin, Board President

    On Monday, December 6, at 10 a.m. in San Francisco, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in AFER’s case to overturn Proposition 8 and to ensure that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry. This is a critical milestone for our mission to achieve equal rights for every American.

    The link below details a preview of what will happen on Monday.

    Two more sleeps!

    Get Your Trial Program Here: http://www.afer.org/news/what-to-expect/

  • 10. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 4, 2010 at 6:52 am

    You lurkin Rhie?

  • 11. John  |  December 4, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Strange, why can't we put the tax cuts for a rich up to a vote? Isn't that what we're supposed to do with any LGBT-rights issue?

    Oh, I forgot, most people don't want the rich getting tax cuts.

    I just hope both parties quite this garbage and get to the business of running the country.

  • 12. Sagesse  |  December 4, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Scribin' and running.

  • 13. James Tuttle  |  December 4, 2010 at 7:26 am

    What an awesome post. It really does make you teary eyed. This is what were fighting for everyone..so that no kid has to deal with this…and it is so nice to see all those complete strangers be so supportive. =-)

  • 14. Ronnie  |  December 4, 2010 at 7:29 am

    You're welcome…..I was a little shocked when they said she is the mother of Rutgers student….just goes to show how small of a world really do live in…..<3….Ronnie

  • 15. Bennett  |  December 4, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Who can argue with Repulicans and their tax cuts for the wealthy. They have evidently been inhabited by a ghost from the past (fictional maybe?)

    Eva Perón: SCREW the middle classes!

    I would rather have my repeal of DADT by judicial fiat then cave to Republican demands.

  • 16. Hanou  |  December 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I have this to say to the Republicans:

    "You vote 'yes' if you believe 'yes.'"

    -Weiner

  • 17. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

    We are dialing as fast as we can. As veterans, we have seen this as a SHANDA ever since it started. We have forced to many good men and women to violate the code of honor and integrity for too long merely to hold onto a job. We need to all get behind our troops and push for the end of this asinine piece of state-sanctioned discrimination that is only harming our troop readiness and morale.

  • 18. fern  |  December 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

    to Walter asinine is the right word, the question remains how can elephants act like donkeys?
    Furthermore there's the blackmail we'll give a chance for the gay people to die equally if we can allow the tax breaks for the rich so that the poor will remain poor and out of jobs they'll join the military and die in any conflict they would decide on gaily or not.
    merry Xmas.

  • 19. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

    That is the RepubliCANTs favorite tool–blackmail.

  • 20. Richard W. Fitch  |  December 4, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I didn't get a "check". ????

  • 21. Ann S.  |  December 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm

  • 22. Bob  |  December 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Adam, thank you so much for your efforts on DADT, and your enthusiasm,,,,, to give it one last big push, on the phones and in the districts,,,,,,,,, can't say how much I appreciate those words, you've done an amazing job with motivation,,,,

    woot woot to Adam, thank him by calling your senator one last time,,,,,,, that's our part,,,

  • 23. Process beginning to over&hellip  |  December 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    [...] with the target adjournment date on December 17th. What is also our enemy is the process. As I wrote this afternoon, it is critical that the amendment process be such that pro-repeal votes are enabled to be cast. [...]

  • 24. Richard Cortijo  |  December 6, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Mike check guy is cute ;-)

  • 25. BREAKING: DADT repeal lik&hellip  |  December 8, 2010 at 8:43 am

    [...] I wrote earlier, if Sen. Reid allows for a process that accords Sen. Collins and other pro-repeal Republicans the [...]

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