DADT vote near, but will it be a hollow victory?


With a successful vote on attaching DADT repeal language to the 2011 defense spending bill expected for Friday, some organizations and politicians have begun claiming a “win.”

However, for many currently serving soldiers, the repeal of the explicitly discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be bittersweet following Monday’s compromise between repeal leaders in the House and Senate, and military leaders and the White House.

The repeal bill will require President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Bob Gates, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen to certify in writing that a repeal would not harm military readiness, would not take effect until after the Pentagon completes its review of how to implement a repeal, and would not include any language prohibiting the Pentagon from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

In response, Army National Guard Lt. Dan Choi, famous for chaining himself to the White House fence to protest DADT, has started a hunger strike along with former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo demanding for an end to the Pentagon’s study process, an end to all DADT discharges, and the inclusion of anti-discrimination language in the defense spending bill.