Hill: Levin: Obama Must Lead DADT Repeal;
Survey Troops on Openly Gay Integration
As I write this, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is assembling on the streets of Washington for a march on the White House over the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. They expect at least 265 demonstrators to pound the pavement for equal treatment of gay people in the U.S. armed forces, according to a story in The Hill from yesterday.
What caught my attention was a comment from a powerful senator tossing the hot-potato issue back to the president, and also calling for a survey of the troops about integrating the services with open homosexuals.
I'm not an historian and I don't know if Harry Truman polled the troops when he moved to end racial segregation in the military, but I suspect that if he had, the white troops would have largely opposed working and serving alongside African Americans.
Haven't enough polls and respected military leaders come forward in the 16-years of DADT and agreed that it's time to lift the ban?
In any event, both the LGBT community and Congress are saying the same thing regarding DADT: Leadership needed from Barack Obama.
From the Hill:
However, his Senate counterpart, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who supports a repeal, was noncommittal on Thursday and shifted the burden entirely onto the White House.
“It requires presidential leadership. This cannot be addressed successfully without that kind of leadership,” Levin told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
“It’s going to take some real kind of preparation inside of the services for us to successfully deal with that question.”
He said he hoped Defense Secretary Robert Gates would conduct a survey inside the military services to get the attitudes of the members of the military.
“These attitudes change all the time,” Levin said.