Military Gays Still Discharged
A story today by Jake Tapper of ABC News, and posted on their blog, about the President banning texting-and-driving, has pissed off a news editor friend of mine in DC. First, here's part of what Tapper reported:
ABC News has learned that President Obama signed an executive order last night banning federal employees from text-messaging while on government business, driving government vehicles or using government equipment. The executive order also directs executive departments and agencies to encourage contractors and contractor employees to adopt and enforce policies to ban texting while driving on official government business. [...]
This development fired up my friend, who shared this note with me:
Can you pass this along? He can fucking sign a ban on texting by executive order but he can't stop the firings of hundreds gay and lesbian servicemembers? What the fuck?
He's got a point. How much longer must the gay community before Barack Obama signs an executive order that benefits the gays in US armed forces? Back in June, a NY Times editorial took on this issue, urging the President to take action. An excerpt from the Times:
President Obama said during the campaign that he would work to overturn the ban, but he has made no move beyond asking the Pentagon to assess the implications. Military leaders seem cool to lifting the ban, but we hope they do a fair and honest job. Members of the military and of the general public are much more receptive to the notion of accepting gays than they were in 1993.
Advocates for gay soldiers believe that the administration, on its own, has the authority to prevent the discharge of gay people, perhaps by issuing “stop-loss” orders such as those used to keep troops serving past their original commitments in Iraq — many unwillingly. How much better to use the power to prevent the loss of gay service members eager to keep serving.
President Obama should see if there is indeed any action he could take on his own while awaiting the military’s assessment. [...]
Mr. President, that was published almost four months ago. We gay Americans are still waiting to learn if you've heeded the advice of the Times editorial board and the gay community.