Friday, October 15, 2010

Obama Renews Commitment to End DADT, While Appealing Judge's Ruling (video)

Just a day after a federal judge ordered the U.S. government to stop enforcing DADT, the Justice Department filed its appeal on Thursday as the president addressed a group of young people, telling them he is committed to ending the discriminatory policy. The Huffington Post reports:
Obama's Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips to stay her ruling that overturned the ban while the government prepares a formal appeal. Asking the judge for a response by Monday – "given the urgency and gravity of the issues" – the government said that suddenly ending the ban would be disruptive and "irreparably harm the public interest in a strong and effective military."

Obama, challenged Thursday at a town hall meeting by a Howard University faculty member who questioned his "alleged commitment to equality for all Americans, gay and straight," said his stance has not wavered. He can't end the ban with the stroke of a pen, he said, but "we're going to end this policy."

Even as the administration was arguing to keep "don't ask, don't tell" in place for now, the Pentagon's top lawyers were telling troops that the military intends to comply with the court order lifting the ban.
Meanwhile, at a town hall meeting organized by MTV, BET and CMT, the Big O took questions from the audience. One person asked him why he doesn't suspend DADT with an executive order. Mediaite tells it this way:
The questioner went on to ask why, if Obama was really committed to ending DADT, he didn’t just write an executive order the way President Truman did in 1948 in order to desegregate the military.
Obama responded by reiterating that he “is against DADT” and additionally that this is not a policy that he can simply end with the stroke of a pen. Which is actually sort of a gray area. Obama obviously can’t repeal a law that Congress has passed, however he could write an executive order saying it can’t be enforced. That said, an executive order could easily (technically speaking) be overturned by the next President. Either way, there is a certain irony in Obama coming out so strongly against DADT when at the same time his Justice Department is asking the judge to let DADT continue while they appeal [Wedesday’s] ruling.
For now, gay and lesbian service members are in legal limbo and are being urged by repeal advocates not to come out for now.

President Obama, when there is a knife in your back, it doesn't matter who takes it out. November 2nd is just 18 days away. We won't forget. Watch as he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.
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