scavenger of human misery (piratesswoop) wrote in ontd_political,
scavenger of human misery

White House Explains Changes to LGBT Commitments on Website

Yesterday, our reader Sean Chapin alerted me to the fact that a long list of commitments to LGBT issues on the White House site had shrunk to a fraction of its size. Joe.My.God reported on it as well. He received a letter from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's Director of Communications Inga Sarda-Sorensen who contacted the White House regarding the changes.

She wrote: "I wanted to let you know that Rea Carey contacted the White House directly about the issue today after you alerted us to your post. Rea was told that they are changing the White House Web site to turn it into a more governance-focused site to reflect progress, as opposed to a campaign and transition site. They said they have taken out many such points throughout the site (not just on LGBT policy issues) as part of this changeover, and are apparently modifying the site over the next few weeks. We will be keeping an eye on it, but if you see changes before we do (or a lack thereof), please let us know. And thank you for calling this to our attention."

John Aravosis notes change in language regarding military gay ban from repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to change 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'...

The language revision is troubling. We certainly hope the LGBT issues "progress achieved" section gets filled out more in the months to come.

AmericaBlog’s John Aravosis notes significant edits made recently to the Civil Rights page on the website that seem to signal “a shift in policy, and a backward step from a clear campaign promise” to repeal the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask don’t tell” (DADT) policy. The website used to emphasize Obama’s firm commitment to repealing the discriminatory policy:

President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

However, after changes apparently made last night, the previous full, earnest paragraph was slashed to one half of a sentence promoting only “changing” the law “in a sensible way”:

[Obama] supports changing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security, and also believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The edits seem to be Obama’s latest attempt to walk back his firm campaign promise to outright repeal the anti-gay policy. His 2010 budget included funding to enforce the policy; Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently admitted that a discussion about repeal “has really not progressed very far at this point in the administration,” and that it hoped to “push that one down the road a little bit.”

In this, Obama is out of touch with the mainstream. In fact, a poll released just yesterday showed that 56 percent of Americans, including 50 percent of military families, favor repealing DADT. (A poll last year found that 75 percent support gays serving openly in the military.) An even stronger majority — 58 percent — “reject” the argument that changing the law would be “divisive.”

source & source


Tags: dont ask dont tell, lgbtq / gender & sexual minorities

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