Let’s hope that this time Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reaching across the aisle to Republicans like Susan Collins who favor lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the military. This repeal legislation wisely allows the military to craft a policy allowing for open service by gay men and lesbians:
The legislation would allow for the first time gay troops to acknowledge publicly their sexual orientation. However, the repeal of the current law would take effect after the president and his top military advisers certify that doing so would not hurt the military’s ability to fight.
The bill was considered a deal struck earlier this year between more liberal Democrats eager to change the law and the White House, under pressure by the Pentagon to give it more time to determine how to repeal the law without causing any backlash.
Therein lies the advantage of going through the legislature. Instead of allowing a federal judge, with no military experience herself, to determine when and how the military should lift the ban, this bill gives the president’s military advisors the opportunity to ensure that lifting the ban will not compromise military effectiveness. Military officials, not judicial ones, will make the final decision.
Fascinating how the New York Times begins its report on the article by seeing Reid’s move as a “direct challenge to Republicans who support the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell”’ policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces” as if this were all a game of one-upmanship with the GOP — and not a matter of national security. Times “reporter” David Herzensohn doesn’t mention any Republicans who support the ban.
It does look like the Nevada Democrat is committed to repeal. Let’s hope he doesn’t repeat the blunders the made the last time he tried to move the legislation.