Senator Carl Levin’s announcement that he thinks there are not enough votes in the Senate to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has roused many LGBT bloggers and lobbyists to furious condemnations of what some are calling the Democratic Party’s rampant political homophobia. Levin protests that he’d prefer to push for a moratorium on discharges under the policy, rather than an outright repeal, because he wants to “advance the cause and not set it back.”
What’s got the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, and even the Human Rights Campaign up in arms is the projection that Democrats will loose control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. If no repeal is passed before November, there’s next-to-no chance it will pass after the election.
Bloggers point out that Levin is afraid he doesn’t have the votes because President Obama has hardly pushed for repeal legislation, and refuses to put pressure on any fence-sitting Senators by announcing preferred timetables for repeal, a move that amounts to a combination of political homophobia and tactical stupidity on the part of the White House following polls showing popular support for repeal and very public support for an end to DADT from former Vice President Dick Cheney and two former and one current Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The HRC has been a popular whipping boy in this, among other political battles to secure LGBT rights, but even their spokesman pushed back against Levin’s statement.
“We believe the votes to repeal this failed law can be found and everyone who wants to see ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ end needs to strenuously lobby their elected leaders,” said Trevor Thomas, HRC’s Deputy Communications Director.
The lobby group yesterday announced plans to recruit veterans for a May 11 lobby day targeting waffling Congresscritters. One wonders, though, whether or not this should have been done far earlier. in the process.
Uganda – The gays fight back. (GlobalPost)
Wisconsin – The governing body of the largest Presbyterian faction in the US, based in Madision, has voted to ordain a partnered gay man as a minister, bucking national church policy (Pioneer Press)
Wisconsin – More ELCA fallout around LGBT clergy (AP)
New York – Gov. David Paterson, the embattled governor who may or may not have pushed for a marriage equality vote late last year to push up his falling poll numbers, is not running for re-election after the NY Times revealed he used his power to silence his top aide’s former girlfriend, after the aide beat her. (The Advocate)
Pennsylvania – UPenn recruiting LGBT students for their freshman class. (Towleroad)