September 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gibbs on ‘Don’t Ask’ vote, Lady Gaga

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs held a briefing Tuesday just after Senate Republicans led a successful effort to derail repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Below is the transcript of his remarks.

Gibbs: “The president believes this is a fundamentally unfair policy and has spoken out not just in the past couple of years but over the course of his public career even when this was not the most popular thing to say to do…

Q: What’s the prospect of passing repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the lame duck Congress?

Gibbs: There’s not been a lot of discussion around here that I’ve been a part of what happens in the post-election Congress on – there may be a whole host of issues including ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ that remain undecided. Our focus right now is trying to get the business of the people done as Congress remains in session.

Q: I’ve had a couple of progressive sources email me now asking why you’re not hammering Republicans harder from the lectern. They say not that not only did DADT not get overturned but military funding was delayed today…Dream Act also delayed…

Gibbs: “I’ll repeat what I said earlier. I think what we saw—the delay was frustrating because the bill contains important funding..for our troops. It contained important priorities for this president and this administration in the Dream Act and the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. But once again you have the new normal of needing to have 60 people to agree to move forward on simply providing the Pentagon with the funding that it needs for its troops. And I think that is a sad, sad that that’s the bar where everything has to go through.

Q: Do you think that Lady Gaga actually did more to help pass this bill this week than the White House?

Gibbs: No, because we wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for the president … We wouldn’t be taking on these issues if it weren’t for the president. This was an issue that passed the House because of the president and this administration and the work of many members of Congress. But understand … as I just said, that it takes 60 votes just to get on a bill, just to consider a piece of legislation that funds the Pentagon. It’s something that’s remarkable in the process that we’ve come to this situation where funding the Pentagon takes the consent of three-fifths of those that are elected. It’s certainly not healthy for the way our government works and sets an awful precedent for getting things —

[Loud shouts by reporters drown out his concluding word. He ends news briefing and leaves the room as reporters call out more questions.]

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • Serving in OUR NATION’S MILITARY IS NOT A RIGHT IT IS A PRIVILAGE! AND THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE WORTHY ARE SELECTED – NOT ALL – THE FEW. If you have never served in a combat situation and understand the stress that will accompany, do not tell us how to run our military – we don’t tell YOU how to sing or what to wear – but, we defend your right to wear or say anything and until you can say that and pass ALL the test the military has – step aside and let us do our job and get back to whatever it is you do.

    • So what about the homosexuals who pass your test and are admitted into the military? By this logic they were the “worthy” that were “selected”. How can you argue that those who have earned that privilege should then be discharged because of being homosexual?

    • As a former member of the military, I want to state emphatically that it is not a privilege to be killed for your country. The fact of the matter is that in the past, every able-body male was drafted into the military unless you were gay (or at least said you were gay). These days you have to volunteer to be in the military and that includes felons, nut cases, and those who kill their fellow-servicemen so don’t give me that privilege nonsense. And, yes, I’m gay. And I don’t want your body either.

    • Silly me, I thought that America was a constitutional republic in which we the people, acting through the civilian government, did tell the military how to run. If you don’t like that state of affairs, then perhaps you’d be happier if you quit our military and joined North Korea’s.

    • Military, you seem to be confused. You work for me. Just as I worked for the civilians when I was in the Army many years ago. When I and my fellow citizens inform the members of Congress what we want they inform you. And just like I was told when I was in the army, when told to jump, I asked how high on the way up and when told to shit I asked how much as a went into a squat. There is no where in the Constitution of 1787 that says some people are entitled to privileges denied to others. It specifically states that Congress has the authority to raise armies If you can’t follow orders, get the hell out of the military.

  • It seams to me that you are saying what Gaga said the only part you missed was the equal rights part. It seams to me like the republicans are still in the early years of the 20 th century this is the 21 st and time for them to get with the program .It is not right to discriminate against anyone Black,female or gay

  • Gibbs did not leave the room. Instead he finished his sentence like this ” …….. things done in the future. Thanks, guys.”
    And then he left as usual.

  • More ABS- American Bull-Shit

  • What a self-serving pack of intelligence-insulting lies.

  • Unfortunately, Obama hasn’t done squat for the LGBT community. After the DADT vote it should be painfully obvious that ALL of the Republicans and many of the Blue Dog Democrats are the enemies of the LGBT community. Obama hasn’t been so much an enemy as a do nothing, despite his claim that he would be a “Fierce Advocate” for our community. Maybe now he will tell his justice department to back off and not appeal the Federal Courts ruling that DADT is unconstitutional. Since the GOP and gutless Dems can’t get the job done, we must depend on the courts.

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