On January 27, 2010, President Obama promised America to put an end to Don't Ask Don't Tell this year. But just five days later, at a closed-door meeting with select LGBT leaders at the White House, administrations officials indicated they would not push for the DADT repeal to be included in this year's Defense Authorization bill. More recently, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has indicated that the administration will sit on its hands until December 1st, 2010, to wait for the results of a Pentagon study on the issue; Senator Carl Levin has said the White House wants Congress to wait for the study before taking legislative action.
Let's not pretend that the idea of a study to determine the effects of DADT is anything other than myopic, patronizing, and offensive. DADT isn't an issue to be studied or a policy to be reviewed. It's blatant discrimination that needs to end. And it doesn't just affect people in the military: when the government enforces the closet, it hurts all bisexuals, gays, and lesbians by making us less visible.
But don't we need to know whether gays serving openly would damage "unit cohesion"? That study has already been done. Twice. The Pentagon's current review, by contrast, is using its time to literally poll homosexual troops about their thoughts on ending DADT. "How would you feel about keeping your job?" "Actually, I'd prefer it if you suddenly ended my career for an arbitrary reason unrelated to my performance."
While the White House wants us to believe that we can wait until December to repeal DADT. And December is still this year, right? Sure. But because of Senate procedure and the impending elections, waiting until December could mean that DADT won't be repealed at all.
If you want to see DADT repealed, you should get on the phone right now.