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Archive for the ‘DADT’ Category

Last July 24th I was in the audience at Netroots Nation when Sen. Harry Reid took Lt. Dan Choi’s West Point ring after Choi asked that he keep it until Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed and the bill was signed into law. Choi, who was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard for being gay first met Reid last year. At the time Reid promised he would repeal the DADT policy. In July Lt. Choi gave Sen. Reid the ring to remind him of that promise, and vowed to hold Reid accountable:

On Saturday the bill passed. I had followed the earlier votes in the Senate that day on C-span, but I wasn’t able to see the final vote. When I finally got the chance to check and see if the bill had passed I used my phone to check Twitter.

Ironically, the first Tweet I saw about DADT was actually this one from Lt. Choi himself:

The bill was expected to pass, so learning that it had wasn’t a surprise. Finding out it had passed this way certainly was, and I can tell you it made me smile.

Sen. Reid made good on his promise and gave Lt. Choi his ring back, and once again Choi took to Twitter in celebration:

Congratulations to Lt. Choi and all those men and women who won another round in a hard-fought victory in the face of unconscionable and indefensible obstruction.

And many thanks to President Obama for another in a long line of accomplishments met and promises kept.

He vowed to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and yes, he did.

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All but two of the Florida Republican members of the House voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell yesterday.

The two members who voted in favor of repealing the policy for gays in the military were Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Mario Diaz-Balart joined other Republican members who voted against it in a vote of 250-175.

The bill moves to the Senate where Republican Sen. “Stand-In” George LeMieux opposes it. Sen. Bill Nelson voted in support last week when the vote failed. However, today Jim DeMint and his GOP colleagues in the Senate have threatened to “run out the clock” on the bill.

The list of those Republicans who voted against the measure yesterday is here:

Roll call for DADT

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Sen. “Stand In” George LeMieux joined his Republican colleagues today and voted to block consideration of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The measure failed 57-40. Sen. Bill Nelson voted in favor.

LeMieux opposed the measure that would allow gays to serve openly in the military. His reasoning?

“I don’t think that in the middle of wars this is the time to make that change.”

Why yes, because when you’re in the middle of two wars, the last thing you need are troops who are more than willing to serve.

Support the troops Sen. LeMieux? As long as those troops aren’t gay, apparently. Never mind that the troops themselves don’t seem to think it’s a problem. Lemieux is against it, either due to pure bigotry or as a form of political obstruction, merely to hold the bill hostage until he gets more tax breaks for millionaires and the corporations who might buy another seat for him come the next election, take your pick. Either way, he and the Republicans have demonstrated once again they do NOT support the troops. Never mind that lives are on the line. Money is at stake here, so suck it up troops!

And speaking of that lack of support, here’s what else went down with the ship when LeMieux and the Republicans voted down Don’t Ask Don’t Tell:

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011  Summary

So you see it isn’t just the safety of the country the Republicans couldn’t care less about, nor the safety of the troops themselves.

They don’t about equal rights either.

Congratulations George LeMieux. In your brief time in the Senate you “proudly” took a stand, and now it’s on record.

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