Following President Obama’s less-than-stirring promise to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “this year,” many advocacy groups are asking Obama to show them the money (via Joe.My.God).
Lambda Legal: “We have heard promises before about ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and we welcome the President’s statement tonight that the time has finally come to fulfill that promise. Very little has changed since Lambda Legal represented Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer 18 years ago after she was discharged for being a lesbian.”
NGLTF: “While we know the State of the Union speech aims to present broad visions, the next time President Obama speaks to or about our community, he must provide a concrete blueprint for his leadership and action moving forward — this includes his willingness to stop the discharges happening on his watch until Congress can fulfill its responsibility to overturn the law. The time for broad statements is over. The time to get down to business is overdue.”
John Aravosis points out, though, that while Obama didn’t tie himself to many specifics, he did give a timeline (“this year”), he promised a “repeal” and not a “change” of the legislation, and he did not pass the buck to Congress by “calling on them” to do anything.
Still, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were pretty unhappy with the proposal, sitting on their hands while the rest of the chamber stood and clapped during the DADT portion of the speech.
For their part, the National Stonewall Democrats “welcomed” the pledge, but were hoping Obama would address employment discrimination. However, activists are bitterly pointing out that ENDA is likely “off the agenda” this congress.