Rear Admiral John Hutson, former judge advocate general of the Navy, reflects on the military's ban on openly gay service members: "This is a policy that was put together by people, most of them men, who were born in the '40s and grew up in the '50s and its being imposed on people who were born in the '80s and grew up in the '90s. Once repeal has been implemented, the country is going to realize it's a big yawn. It's just not going to be a big deal. The country and the military, I would say, are so ready for this."
According to the latest poll by Quinnipiac University Institute, Americans favor allowing gays to serve openly in the military by a 57 to 36 percent margin Also, a new survey commissioned by Vet Voice Foundation and conducted jointly by Republican and Democratic pollsters revealed that "most veterans are comfortable around gay and lesbian people," and that a person's sexual orientation has no bearing on a service member’s ability to perform his or her duties. Seventy-three percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans say it is "personally acceptable to them if gay and lesbian people were allowed to serve openly in the military. (Only a quarter, or 25%, would find it unacceptable.)
John Aravosis writes on AmericaBlog: It's been 9 days since Congressman Barney Frank went public with his concerns that the White House isn't fully on board with repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" this year. Barney called on the White House to come clean, and tell us whether they want to see DADT repealed this year or not. The White House's response to the gay community's most senior member in Congress? Dead silence.
From Reuters: Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to address ways to allow "more humane enforcement and application" of a policy that has seen thousands of homosexuals forced out of the military, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. (How nice. Our military leaders will try to be less INhumane when they destroy the careers of gay and lesbian soldiers.) "I think he is prepared to offer a way ahead on that subject this week. So stay tuned," said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell. "Hopefully you'll be seeing him later this week and (he) can address the changes that he is going to be making." (Translation: We'll ratchet back the witch hunts, maybe a smidgen.)
Dan Froomkin on Huffington Post: Neither the Obama White House nor the congressional leadership appears to view allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces as a political winner, so they're happy to drag their feet. And the Pentagon, despite the public endorsement, has sent the proposal to the Washington equivalent of purgatory: a working group. And not just any working group; one with a long deadline (a year) and members who don't seem too keen on their assigned task... During a panel discussion at the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, Lawrence J. Korb, a fellow at CAP and a former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, accused the working group of having a bad attitude. (It's like pulling teeth.) A major argument of the foot-draggers is that implementation of the repeal would be complicated. But a new report released by CAP on Tuesday argues that it would actually be quite simple.
The troops are ready for this discriminatory policy to be overturned, as is the American public. Just make it happen, Mr. President. Pick up the phone, call Democratic leaders and say four little words: "Get. This. Done. Now." We all know what to expect. Republicans will obstruct, religious conservatives will whine and whimper, Glenn Beck will weep for his country, Rush Limbaugh will froth at the mouth. But all of those things will occur no matter what you do during the remainder of your term in office. Now is the time to lead. Four little words. That's all it takes. (Pictured: Adm. Hutson)