Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-04-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

President Obama Signs DADT Repeal
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service
2011-01-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Following a dramatic and eloquent speech, on Dec. 22 President Obama signed the legislation that will launch the repeal of a 17-year-old law that prohibits openly gay people from serving in the military.

"This is done," he said, looking up and slapping his hand on the table, and the crowded auditorium of an Interior Department building in Washington, D.C., erupted with cheers and applause.

The historic ceremony took place less than 24 hours after Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took an 11th-hour action of trying to make implementation of repeal much more difficult and time-consuming. According to a report on Politico.com, McConnell tried to introduce an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill that would have required that implementation of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) not take place until after the four service chiefs certify that it could be done without negative consequences for military readiness. The DADT-repeal legislation requires certification by the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

According to Politico, McConnell attempted to add the amendment by unanimous consent, but Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., a champion of the repeal measure, objected. Lieberman's objection effectively blocked the amendment from being considered without first getting the consent of at least 60 senators.

The president was greeted with a roar of cheers and applause after he was introduced by Vice President Joe Biden at 9:13 a.m. on Dec. 22. As the president greeted many special guests on stage with him, the crowded began to chant, "Yes, we can"—a prominent slogan of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. When the president reached the podium, he smiled and called back, "Yes, we did."

"I am just overwhelmed," said Obama, beginning his prepared remarks. "This is a very good day, and I want to thank all of you, especially the people on this stage." He then told a story about a soldier who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the Belgian mountains against the Germans in World War II. The soldier, Andy Lee, put his own life in peril in order to scale a ravine and rescue a fellow soldier, Lloyd Corwin. Forty years later, Lee let Corwin know he was gay.

"He had no idea," said Obama of Corwin, "and didn't much care. Lloyd knew what mattered. He knew what kept him alive."

Obama also told the story of a young female servicemember who gave him a hug on a receiving line in Afghanistan several weeks ago, when the president made a visit to the troops. The woman whispered in his ear, "Get 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' done," said the president. "And I said to her, 'I promise you I will.'"

With the signing of the bill, Obama has also fulfilled a long-standing promise to the LGBT community overall, a feat that is prompting widespread praise, even from gay Republicans.

"He made this a priority," said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "He was sincere and correct about making this a priority." Cooper, a former servicemember who had a front row seat during the ceremony, said that, as the president shook hands with guests on the front row, following the ceremony, Cooper said to the president, "You said 'Get me those [ Republican ] votes,' and I got more than you needed."

In a critical procedural vote to force the repeal measure to the floor in the Senate Dec. 18, six Republicans joined Democrats and Independents to provide more than the 60 votes necessary to break the Republican-led filibuster.

Cooper said the ceremony was a "very emotional" one in the auditorium and that "there were definitely many tears of joy" in his eyes and in the eyes of other former servicemembers discharged under the DADT policy during the past 17 years.

The president acknowledged the tenacious work of numerous individuals during the Dec. 22 ceremony, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Senator Susan Collins, and the bill's sponsor Rep. Patrick Murphy. NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker, speaking on MSNBC shortly before the ceremony, said it was House Majority Whip Hoyer whose idea it was to take DADT-repeal language out of the annual defense authorization bill—which was being filibustered by McConnell, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and most Republicans—and put it into a special standalone bill in the House last week.

The House passed that bill Dec. 15 by a 250-175 vote and sent it immediately to the Senate, which approved it Dec. 18 65-31.

The president also singled out Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., in the front of the auditorium, for having "kept up the fight" in the House.

Speaking to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell Dec. 21, Frank characterized the Congressional vote to repeal DADT as being "comparable to the 1964 Civil Rights Act."

"It is an enormous move forward," said Frank. Frank said he was moved by a special ceremony held on Capitol Hill Dec. 21 by House Speaker Pelosi and Majority Whip Hoyer to sign the enrollment document for the bill to be sent to the president. Frank said the hundreds of people in attendance saying "God Bless America."

"It was a very moving moment," said Frank.

Also on stage for the Dec. 22 ceremony were Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen and Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, an openly gay Marine who was the first servicemember wounded in the Iraq War.

The president used 15 pens to sign the legislation into law. It could not be determined by deadline to whom those pens will be given.

Copyright 2010 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

GLN to Host Fundraiser For Chelsea Manning 2019-04-19 - The Gay Liberation Network will host a 7 p.m., Saturday, May 4th fundraiser for the legal defense fund of Trans whistle-blower Chelsea Manning ...


Gay News

Trans military ban now in effect 2019-04-12 - The Pentagon's controversial policy for transgender service members is in effect as of April 12. The new regulation keeps transgender troops from serving ...


Gay News

Military policy researchers call trans ban the return of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" 2019-04-10 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The Pentagon plans to reinstate a ban on military service by transgender Americans this week, raising concerns by LGBTQ ...


Gay News

APA Concerned About Transgender Military Ban 2019-04-09 - Washington, D.C., April 9, 2019 — The American Psychiatric Association ( APA ), the national medical association representing more than 38,500 psychiatric physicians, ...


Gay News

U.S. House votes to condemn military transgender ban 2019-03-28 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted 238-185 on March 29 to pass a resolution condemning President Donald J. Trump's ban on transgender persons ...


Gay News

75th U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to Speak atvLGBTQ Military Event 2019-03-21 - WASHINGTON — Today, the American Military Partner Association ( AMPA ) — the nation's largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans military ban, Fla. candidate, inmate meets end 2019-03-12 - A federal judge in Maryland cleared the way for the Pentagon to put in place a Trump administration policy banning most transgender individuals ...


Gay News

Pentagon proceeding with anti-trans military ban 2019-03-12 - The Pentagon announced March 12 that a directive has been signed to implement President Trump's policy barring most transgender people from serving in ...


Gay News

Chelsea Manning jailed again 2019-03-08 - Transgender ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has once again found herself in jail—this time for refusing to testify about her disclosure of military ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans military ban, Black icons, Edie Windsor, trans art exhibit 2019-02-13 - A high-ranking officer in the California National Guard said that the group will not comply with Donald Trump's transgender military ban, LGBTQ Nation ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.