TOP LINE: DADT Opponent Says New Rules Don’t Go Far Enough

By Lindsey Ellerson

Mar 26, 2010 6:19pm

ABC News’ David Chalian reports: The new procedures and guidelines put in place by Defense Secretary Gates aimed at providing “common decency,” according to Gates, to gays who serve in the military doesn’t go far enough according to an outspoken critic of the policy that has been in place since the beginning of the Clinton administration. “As far as when we consider the numbers of people that get kicked out, you know, the majority of people that get kicked out, they don’t get kicked out for these reasons.  They get kicked out because they just refuse to lie anymore about who they are,” said Lt. Dan Choi who is challenging his dismissal letter from the Army after he made his sexuality public.  “And so the bottom line is no, it does not actually repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the only way that we’re going to see any kind of substantive progress or momentum is if the President takes real leadership and shows resolve,” Choi added on ABC News’ “Top Line.” Lt. Choi, who recently handcuffed himself to the White House fence in protest of DADT, challenged President Obama to repeal the law in the current Defense Department authorization bill. “He has the Defense authorization bill.  He can include repeal language when he sends that to the Senate and that will allow for the Senate to, for those opponents of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’s repeal, they would have to come up with 60 votes to strip that out of the bill. So that’s the only way the president can really add momentum. It is on his desk right now and so the ball is in his court.” As the review process with an eventual goal of full Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal ordered by President Obama is underway, Lt. Choi says the military will discover what other agencies and foreign service organizations have discovered. “They will see that in Australia or in Canada or in Israel or even in our own services at home in the secret service or the CIA or the FBI they got rid of their discriminatory policies and what you look at right now is we are now hiring people and keeping them on our teams because of the talent that the can provide. So they’ll certainly find that if you follow all of the other organizations and militaries around the world that there really is nothing that’s holding us back as to how we should implement the reverse of discrimination,” Choi said. You can watch our entire interview with Lt. Choi HERE. We also chatted with the Washington Post’s political sage Dan Balz about the McCain and Palin reunion and the political fallout from the enactment of the health care reform bill.  Be sure to watch our entire segment with Dan HERE.

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