Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released a report detailing a clear, realistic, and comprehensive road map for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military. The steps include:
1. Signing an Executive Order banning further military separations based on DADT and sending a legislative proposal on DADT repeal to Congress
2. Forming a presidential panel on how to implement the repeal
3. Repealing DADT in Congress and changing the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, or UCMS
4. Changing other necessary military guidelines to conform to the new policy
5. Following-up to ensure that the armed forces implement the policy changes
In today’s press briefing, David Corn of Mother Jones asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs about the report and whether the Obama administration thinks this is “the way to go.” Gibbs largely dismissed CAP’s recommendations, saying that the White House is not interested in signing an executive order to temporarily halt DADT:
GIBBS: Well, the President has had meetings about this, has talked with members of Congress. His staff has talked with members of Congress. All of them have talked to Pentagon officials and the administration believes that this requires a durable, legislative solution, and is pursing that in Congress.
Q: I understand that for the long-term solution, but what do you take issue with about signing an executive order that will suspend the separations before an endurable solution is reached through the slow legislative process?
GIBBS: I mean, I think there could be differences on strategy. I think our belief is that the only and best way to do this is through a durable, comprehensive legislative process.
ThinkProgress spoke with CAP Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb, one of the authors of the report, who reiterated that it’s essential for Obama to suspend the dismissals of gay men and women while working on a long-term solution with Congress:
We agree on the need for a durable legislative solution. But a presidential suspension on further dismissals on the basis of DADT is not only within the authority of the president but is necessary to begin the process of repealing this counterproductive, costly, and unnecessary law.
Read the full report here.
Transcript: Read more