Thursday, December 03, 2009

Immunity for Gay Service Members?

As President Obama continues to do nothing to significantly deliver on his campaign promises to the LGBT community, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) continues to try to push the envelop on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and has come up with an interesting approach to allowing honorably serving LGBT members of the military a mechanism to testify before Congress and perhaps wake up some of the gutless wonders in Congress who act as lap dogs for the Christian Right even though most Americans now believe that DADT needs to go. Here are story highlights from the Washington Post:
Lawmakers want to give immunity to gay military service members that agree to testify at Congressional hearings about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) unveiled the measure Wednesday that would expand whistleblower protections between members of the military and lawmakers to include any instance when an active-duty member testifies about the Pentagon policy that bans openly gay people from serving in the military. It would also apply to service members that disclose their sexual orientation during a hearing. The House and Senate armed services committees are likely to hold hearings on repealing the policy next year, Hastings said.
The Hastings bill -- which has 27 co-sponsors -- appears to be a backdoor way to make "don't ask, don't tell" illegal since current military whistleblower law grants protections to service members that want to report violations of law or policy to lawmakers, an inspector general or other Defense officials.
“I am extremely proud of the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces and truly appreciate the countless sacrifices they continue to make every single day to protect this nation and the American people," Hasting said. "They deserve better than Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and now is the time to take action."
President Obama has taken hits from gay rights groups for appearing to drag his feet on repealing "don't ask" and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Hastings noted Wednesday that he's reached out to the White House twice on the matter and has heard no response. He's not the only one.

1 comment:

WranglerMan said...

Unlike other goals, the Obama Administration wants the repeal of DADT to proceed slowly. While I don't want it to go the way the Clinton Administration's efforts did, the current administration needs to start making good on its promises to us on this issue.