December 10, 2010 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Obama supports free-standing bill to repeal DADT

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday that President Obama continues to call on Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year and is hopeful that repeal can come about through a free-standing bill.

“The president remains committed to seeing this repeal done before Congress leaves town this year,” he said.

“And I think if we can get the time to do it—57 votes yesterday. Quite frankly, you can see how you can get even more. And I think there could be legislative vehicles that start in the House as a stand-alone [repeal bill] and can withstand procedural hurdles and put the Senate on the record on an up or down vote to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”

Gibbs was referring to the 57-40 vote in the Senate Thursday that fell three votes short of breaking a Republican-led filibuster that blocked a defense bill in which “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal was a part. Sixty votes are needed to break a filibuster.

Members of the House and Senate supporting repeal of the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military responded to the failure to stop the filibuster by introducing a free-standing repeal bill. House and Senate Democratic leaders say they have the procedural authority to move such a bill to the floor of both bodies for a vote without going through the normal committee process. But with the Senate inundated with other important bills that need approval before Congress adjourns later this month, the chance of the Senate having the time to address yet another bill on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” remains uncertain.

“The president has talked to senators on both sides of the aisle on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the Dream Act” over the past few days,” Gibbs said.”I have not seen a call list today to see if there is an update on his outreach on this. But this is something that is important and something that he is going to continue to work on.”

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

4 Comments
  • If you are reading this, then you must be concerned with this Legislation,…

    But have you EVER actually done anything about it? Have you ever contacted your Senator? (which costs you nothing by the way)

    Even if your Senator is not inclined to vote for Repeal, They should know that we will remember them in the next elections.

    Call your senator today! (202)224-3121

    Ask them to vote FOR Repeal of DADT.

    *The Operator will direct you if you do not know your representative

  • I hope it won’t interrupt his office Christmas party or anything . . .

  • Stupid ass piece of shit. Sold us out.

  • DADT could have been done at any time in the past 2 years or under President Clinton. But without that issue it would be harder to milk gay donors for dollars for the DNC.

    It was passed now only so Obama, presiding over double digit unemployment he has helped create and facing the loss of Congress and the loss of the Senate in 2012, could claim that he achieved something.

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