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Dempsey: Process ‘on track’ for ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal

Nominee for Chair of JCS commented on ‘Don’t Ask’ before Senate

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The nominee to become the next top uniform military adviser to President Obama gave responses to a questionnaire earlier this year indicating he shares the belief that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal is proceeding smoothly and educating the armed forces is essential before moving forward with open service.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, whom President Obama nominated on May 30 to become the next chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered his views on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in written responses to policy questions when his previous nomination to become Army chief of staff was pending before the Senate Armed Services Committee in April.

The responses that Dempsey gave to the committee on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” follow:

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Implementation of the Repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Policy

What is your assessment of the Army’s readiness and capability to implement the repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy?

The Army is on track with its implementation plan in accordance with DOD guidance and timelines, and I believe the Army is fully capable of executing the implementation. Our plan includes periodic assessments to review and consider feedback from the field throughout the implementation.

What in your view are the major challenges, if any, that could confront the Army in implementing the repeal of DADT? If confirmed, what actions, if any, would you propose taking to deal with these challenges?

The most important challenge is that we educate our Soldiers who are in combat situations with a minimum of disruption and risk. We are making every effort to train units prior to deploying. We will also provide the training to currently deployed units and we will follow up with these deployed units to ensure that all Soldiers receive the required training upon their return from deployment.

What measures is the Army taking to focus training on combat units and other deployed units and ensure that repeal of the current policy does not adversely affect combat operations?

The Army is using a Chain Teach methodology, where each commander is responsible for educating his/her subordinates and they in turn train their Solders. Commanders and leaders will carefully manage deployed units’ training to minimize impact on the mission. The Army is making every effort to train units prior to deployment.

If confirmed, what conditions or circumstances would you expect to be achieved, if any, before recommending that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs certify that DADT can be repealed without adversely affecting the Army?

If confirmed, I would base my recommendation on the input I receive from commanders and leaders consistent with the requirements established by the Congress and Department of Defense leadership. I would also seek to ensure that the Army completes training according to Army guidance.

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Dempsey’s comment that the implementation plan for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal is on track recalls congressional testimony earlier this year in which the military service chiefs maintained the path to repeal was proceeding smoothly.

Additionally, identifying the education of soldiers as “the most important challenge” in implementing repeal echoes Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ stated desire to train the armed forces on handling open service before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is lifted from the books.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said the responses Dempsey gave to the committee indicate he’s on board with the idea of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

“I think his statements before the Senate were encouraging and indicative that he’s in tune with [current Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] Adm. [Mike] Mullen and Secretary Gates,” Sarvis said.

Under the repeal law signed by President Obama in December, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” won’t be off the books until 60 days pass after the president, the defense secretary and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that U.S. military is ready for open service.

But the decision to certify likely won’t fall to Dempsey. Mullen, a supporter of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, isn’t set to leave his role until his term expires on Sept. 30 and Pentagon leaders have testified certification could happen mid-summer. If certification hasn’t taken place by the time Mullen retires, it would be delayed significantly beyond expectations.

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Politics

Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire host says 2 men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies

” […] because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.”

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Screenshot of Matt Walsh via YouTube (Blade file photo)

NASHVILLE – Anti-LGBTQ Daily Wire podcast and YouTuber Matt Walsh joined the growing chorus of far-right and conservative voices outraged that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave from his job in August after he and his husband Chasten had adopted two children.

On his show Monday Walsh not only criticized Buttigieg, but he attacked same-sex couples adopting children altogether.

It’s absurd for any public employee, paid on taxpayer dime, to be given that much time off. Now, you can make an argument for women on maternity leave but not for men. Paternity leave is a nice luxury for private companies that can afford it. The U.S. government is not a private company – it’s a public institution, deeply in debt, failing in just about every way and everywhere. So this is not a time and not the place for those kinds of luxuries. But that’s the somewhat safer point to make, right? You are in a much more hazardous place, you are in more hazardous waters when you go away from that and, instead, you start saying mildly critical things about paternity leave in general as a concept.”

I also didn’t say that there’s nothing at all for a man to do for his family after a child is born. I said that as far as caring for the newborn himself, most of that is going to be done by the mother. She, in most cases, will be feeding the child. The child also needs and wants his mother’s presence, his mother’s touch, her voice. The father should be interacting with the baby also, obviously, but the infant is far more focused on his mother at that age. And needs his mother more. There is no mother in the Buttigieg household, but that doesn’t change the point here.”

Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place. And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.

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Politics

Pete Buttigieg calls out Tucker Carlson over attack

Fox News host mocked transportation secretary over paternity leave

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (Washington Blade file photo)

Appearing remotely on MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace’s politics program Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Fox News host Tucker Carlson for the attack on his parental leave.

“This attack is coming from a guy who has yet to explain his apparent approval for the assassination of Harvey Milk, ” Buttigieg said.

During his Thursday evening program Carlson said, “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child—paternity leave, they call it—trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went. But now he’s back in office as the transportation secretary and he’s deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can’t get into this country.”

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National

Biden recognizes National Coming Out Day as time to honor LGBTQ people

White House statement denounces ‘bullying and harassment’

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President Biden recognized Oct. 11 as National Coming Out Day in a statement on Monday calling the occasion a time to celebrate the “courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self.”

Biden ticked off in the statement the achievements on LGBTQ policy, including signing an executive order on his first day in his office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year against anti-LGBTQ discrimination to the furthest extent possible.

“Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures,” Biden said. “Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.”

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on National Coming Out Day

Today, we celebrate National Coming Out Day and the courage of LGBTQ+ people who live their lives with pride, create community with open arms and hearts, and showcase the strength of being your authentic self. Today and every day, I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know that you are loved and accepted just the way you are – regardless of whether or not you’ve come out.

My Administration is committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people can live openly, proudly, and freely in every corner of our nation. I am proud to lead an Administration with LGBTQ+ officials serving openly at the highest levels of government — and prouder that together we have made historic progress advancing protections and equal opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community. From acting on Day One to prevent and combat discrimination, to enabling all qualified Americans – including transgender Americans – to serve their country in uniform, to defending the human rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, my Administration has been clear that we will continue to champion the dignity, equality, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Despite the extraordinary progress our nation has made, our work to ensure the full promise of equality is not yet done. Anti-LGBTQ+ bills still proliferate in state legislatures. Bullying and harassment — particularly of young transgender Americans and LGBTQ+ people of color — still abounds, diminishing our national character. We must continue to stand together against these acts of hate, and stand up to protect the rights, opportunities, physical safety, and mental health of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. From defeating discriminatory bills to passing the Equality Act, we have more work to do to ensure that every American can live free of fear, harassment, and discrimination because of who they are or whom they love.

To LGBTQ+ people across the country, and especially those who are contemplating coming out: know that you are loved for who you are, you are admired for your courage, and you will have a community — and a nation — to welcome you. My Administration will always have your back, and we will continue fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect you deserve.

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