As legislative repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell looks ever-remote, some activists were arrested chaining themselves to the White House fence. Others took a conciliatory stance. And John McCain got an "It Gets Worse" video from The Daily Show.
A letter from two organizations representing gays in the military, Outserve and Knights Out, plus a California think tank that has studied the ban, has set off a schism in the movement to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Urging the Senate to pass the defense budget bill even without a Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal in it, they wrote,
"There is nothing more important than loyalty to those with whom we serve. This means ensuring that no one issue interferes with funding the courageous and selfless work our fellow service members are doing around the world.
We will continue to fight for our integrity as gay and lesbian service members and we hope that legislative action in Congress can be taken in 2010 to lift the ban."
The idea, they told The Washington Post was to show that unlike the John McCains of the world, they were willing to put national security above all things.
For now, thanks to John McCain, their words are pretty symbolic anyway — because since he's working to strip the DADT language from the bill, the Senate isn't going to vote on it anyway, and no one ever thought defense funding would actually be withheld while this battle was fought.
More established gay rights groups like the Human Rights Campaign called them "Good people who are extremely naïve legislatively." And their position led the most visible member of the repeal movement, Dan Choi, to declare that he was withdrawing membership and support. Choi and other activists, including a Catholic priest and nine veterans, chained themselves to the White House fence yesterday, and were promptly arrested. (There was a similar sequence of events in March).
Speaking of McCain, Jon Stewart was in top sputtering form about the Senator's queasy-faced hypocrisy. The correspondents pitched in to do an It Gets Worse video for McCain — namely, it gets worse for him, when a documentary twenty years from now casts him as the George Wallace of gay civil rights.
<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'It Gets Worse PSA
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|