The Palm Center’s Nathanial Frank says President Obama’s habit of deferring to Congress on important legislation is putting a DADT repeal at risk. Everyone knows that 2010 is the year to act – following the 2010 midterm elections, Democrats will be skittish, and the 2012 presidential campaign will be heating up – but Frank says DADT repeal will go the way of health care reform if the President does not take the lead by promoting repeal legislation and including it in his “must-pass” defense budget proposal. The HRC seems to agree, although likely for different reasons. If the fight is going to be in Congress, that gives the HRC several more years where they can use DADT as a fundraising issue.

If President Obama is serious about lifting the ban in his first term, he should put repeal into the 2011 Defense Authorization bill. If the military brass can call for an end to the ban, and if Republicans Dick Cheney and Colin Powell can join them in supporting this step, surely Democrats and gay groups should be on the frontlines of pressing for real action.

And as AmericaBlog points out, most of the voters opposed to a DADT repeal are not likely to vote for Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections, anyway.

Elsewhere…

D.C. – The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. ends their 80-year-old foster program rather than give domestic partner benefits to any employees in same-gender marriages. This fits right in with rising extremism in the Catholic Church, worldwide – just yesterday, the Cardinal of Bologna said any Catholic politicians who help pass, support, or implement same-gender marriages would not be considered a member of the Church by his archdiocese. (The Advocate, The Box Turtle Bulletin)

D.C. – Rep. Barney Frank says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised to bring ENDA before the full House “as soon as it passes the committee,” and anticipates a vote in March. In the same interview, though, he keeps making noises about the “difficulty” of including protections for trans Americans, raising the possibility of a repeat of the bitter 2007 fight, where Frank and mainstream LGBT lobbyists threw trans people under the bus in an effort to pass the bill. (DC Agenda)

Virginia – This is why executive orders are a bad way of making change happen – VA’s new GOP governor just overturned former Governor Tim Kaine’s executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in the state’s workforce. (TalkingPointsMemo)

Virginia – Big-time anti-gay leaders are prominent among signers of the “Mount Vernon Declaration,” a new Tea Party-type manifesto. (AmericaBlog)

New Hampshire – By wide margins, New Hampshire’s legislature kills both an anti-marriage equality constitutional amendment and a similar bill. (Pam’s House Blend)

Uganda – Gay activists in Uganda want Pentecostal preacher and “Kill Gays” bill promoter Martin Ssempa arrested for promoting pornography. Ssempa spent his yesterday showing gay porn to 300 people (including minors, apparently) in a packed church in the capitol to scare up suport for the bill. (Towleroad)