House Passes Bill Aimed at Slowing DADT Repeal, Obama is Officially Upset

The U.S. House passed a defense bill that includes not one but THREE anti-gay amendments. Hey, at least they’re being efficient with the hate these days. Let’s tackle these one at a time, shall we? (Keep in mind that these amendments would have to pass the Senate before they would become effective.)

Amendment one aims to slow the DADT repeal by requiring all four service branch chiefs to sign off on the policy change. It seems that is a departure from the current plan, which involves a cooperative decision by the Secretary of Defense, the President, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The amendment adds in four other people who are probably less likely to give the repeal the go-ahead. It basically gives the armed services a free pass to say no thanks and keep DADT in place. Once again, let’s point out that DADT does not prevent gay soldiers from serving, it just hurts them once they sign up. There have always been and will always be gay service members, no matter what Congress does.

Amendment two restates that the Defense of Marriage Act still applies to the Department of Defense. You know, in case anyone had forgotten that there is a federal ban on recognizing same-sex couples. Just fyi guys, purely informational, you know! The government still hates the gays, write that down.

Amendment three prohibits same-sex weddings on military property. Ok, seriously? This is just mean. It looks like a backstop measure in case they can’t prevent the repeal of DADT. So instead of letting everyone be equal when that happens, America is going to throw one last “fuck you” at our own soldiers? Classy.

Obama signing the DADT repeal in December

Obama is not happy about this bill. His office released a statement a few days ago objecting to all three of these sections. On DADT:

“The Administration strongly objects to any legislative attempts (such as section 533) to directly or indirectly undermine, prevent, or delay the implementation of the repeal, as such efforts create uncertainty for servicemembers and their families.”

And on DOMA:

“The Administration strongly objects to sections 534 and 535, believes that section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is discriminatory, and supports DOMA’s repeal.”

That’s right, he said he supports DOMA’s repeal, not just that he will not defend it in the Second Circuit courts. Obama has become a stronger gay rights advocate every day of his presidency. I cannot wait to see how those issues play out during the next election. One thing we already know is that the HRC has officially backed Obama already — a move not everybody’s happy about.

For now, this bill moves to the Senate. Let’s be honest, it would have no chance there, even without Obama’s statement. I, for one, am tired of the House taking cheap shots at gay rights that have no chance of becoming law. I don’t understand why they don’t just focus on fixing the deficit or addressing the thing they complain about. At least I could respect that.

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


    • what else would you expect of the house, now filled with tea party people who hate obama, hate gays and of course blame dems for the collapse of the enocnomy that bush engineered with his freedom to cheat the middle class deregulation.

      Better that we shut down the mil totally then let these rotten bigots succeed.

      ending DADt is really about 2 million service members discovering that some of their buddies, maybe the guys who saved their lives, are gay.

      And it is real hard to hate people you know, love and respect.

      Like the presbyterian USA church which now allows gay clergy in relationships, and about 8 other denominations, the world iss changing

      While the tea party repubs want us to go back to the middle ages of ignorance and hate, and btw endless wars.

      As they try and clone themselves into a christian Al Qaida

  1. Why why why must these people continue to completely waste their time/our money on this crap?

  2. Didn’t these guys get elected by promising to fix the deficit and create jobs? Is this what they’re doing instead?

    • They’ll probably just argue that the gays are the ones spending all the money and that we take all the good jobs too. We also stole their crayons in first grade and are thus not allowed in their clubhouse.

  3. Please tell me this won’t end/stall DADT in committee hell forever or make it even harder on LGBT servicemembers than it already is. This was the one “gay right” issue that had the overwhelming support of the American People across many part lines…. For a group that was elected for fiscal responsibility/reform more than anything else they’ve done a grand job of ignoring all that to be as socially regressive as the possibly can to the detriment of “small government”.

    When the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (who has commanded 3 ships, a carrier battlr group and two fleets) *personally* argues for the repeal, and over 70% of servicemembers asked come out out in favor of repeal then you have lost. And everything else makes you look like the diehard segregation bigots of 50 years ago. And yes they thought they had the Bible with them then.

  4. I know this is a serious thread, but every time I see “DADT” I think it means Defense Against the Dark Arts. Does anyone else have this problem?

  5. I can’t find a name to call them that expresses my multifaceted rage without disrespecting women/women’s bodies. Basically if it’s a slang term for vagina I don’t want to use it as an insult.

  6. What I don’t understand is, when people usually criticize Obama I usually hear things like “Where’s the change he promised? He still hasn’t fixed unemployment, our economy, the war, my burnt dinner, my spilled beer, etc, etc…..”
    A lot of Republicans are just bitching about how Obama and other Democrats aren’t spending time on the “important issues.”
    Then why is so much time and money being spent on this anti-gay crusade? Why can’t they focus more on the “important” issues instead of throwing a bitch fit over who we choose to fuck? (and love and stuff too).

  7. I’m Canadian, but currently sitting in the U.S., and felt it was appropriate to scream in rage at the computer in solidarity.

  8. Seriously ridiculous. The obsession with DADT and DOMA which most of the country DOESN’T support is crazy with the Republicans. I’m willing to bet that in a few years one of the sponsors of the bill or one of it’s biggest supporters will be caught with his pants around his ankles and male interns giving exclusive interviews to Fox and CNN.

    • One? Let’s be real here, within five to ten years I put the over/under at three and am strongly leaning towards the over.

  9. The reporter wrote, “DADT does not prevent gay soldiers from serving, it just hurts them once they sign up.” But that’s misleading, and it’s incomplete. The reality is far worse.

    DADT requires every bisexual, lesbian, and gay member of the armed forces to lie about who they are, how they love, and who they love. And even when they lie as required, if anyone else rats them out and turns them in, then they still can lose their jobs, careers, pay, and veteran benefits. The law allows discharges even for people who were formerly bisexual, lesbian, or gay, or who theoretically might become so in the future, because it’s impossible to prove for certain, in advance, that a person will never have such thoughts at any future point. Source: U.S. Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 37, Section 654 (30 November 1993).

    No federal law oppresses any other group of American citizens as unfairly as this one does.

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