May 25, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
Last week, President Obama threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act because of several provisions, some of which are designed to attack the LGBT community. We wrote here at the time:
The House’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act also has several anti-LGBT provisions. Think Progress says:
In its one Statement of Administration Policy, the White House outlined numerous reasons it opposes the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains a military “license to bully” provision and restricts same-sex marriages or similar ceremonies from being held on military bases.
After the president’s announcement that he supports marriage equality, I think some people, including myself, expected the president to make that statement and then pivot to other issues facing the American people. It has not turned out that way – he has done interviews reiterating his position, and he is now including “marriage equality” in some campaign speeches, reminding voters that it strengthens families. Republicans might have become quieter on these issues but it’s clear they are willing to work on passage of unnecessary and hateful anti-LGBT bills.
Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee completed their work on the lengthy NDAA bill, and their version doesn’t contain the anti-gay provisions:
The Senate Armed Services Committee didn’t include anti-gay language found in House legislation as part of its markup of the fiscal year 2013 defense authorization bill. The 26-member Democratic-controlled committee, chaired by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), on Thursday completed work on the $631 billion legislation, which authorizes funding for military programs and troop pay.
This is good, because it seems unlikely that the Senate would put those provisions back in the bill before the final Senate vote. The two bills – House and Senate – will have to be worked out in conference. The president’s veto threat will likely provide more backing to those who don’t want the discriminatory provisions back in the bill.