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While the American military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy was rescinded late in 2011, its negative effects linger for some veterans discharged under the policy.
For Rep. Mike Coffman, R-CD6, signing on as Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's Colorado chairman probably seemed like a smart move back when Perry went from announcing he was running to being the front-runner in a matter of hours. Today, maybe not so much.
Colorado Republican Reps. Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman joined Rep. Michele Bachmann and 83 other members of the House as signers of a letter to the U.S. Senate urging that body to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prohibit gay members of America’s Armed Forces from using military facilities for marriage ceremonies.
On a conference call with supporters of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom coalition on Tuesday evening, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said she would reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, while agreeing with a caller who said allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military would “destroy the armed forces.”
At Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate in Florida, a gay soldier serving in Iraq was booed by the audience because he asked a question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. None of the candidates on stage came to his defense.
While gay soldiers and veterans in Colorado react today with a mix of joy and relief that the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy barring them from serving openly has been repealed, Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family continues to express concerns. The Christian-right group's political-action news outlet, CitizenLink, worries that repeal might impinge on soldiers' freedom of religion and expression and that it could also further erode the shaky standing of the Defense of Marriage Act, which precludes federal recognition of same-sex unions.
DENVER-- Veterans, state lawmakers and Democratic Party officials gathered on the capitol steps here Monday to celebrate the end of the policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which for the last 18 years barred gay Americans from serving openly in the military. The Pentagon on Tuesday is offically lifting Don't Ask, Don't Tell across all branches of the armed services in accordance with legislation passed last December. At a time when nearly any issue can generate incendiary political rhetoric and gridlock Congress, the end of the controversial military policy is being lauded as a rare bipartisan victory for equality and common sense and a sign of progress in service of the nation.
Colorado US Senator Mark Udall on Thursday denounced a move by Republican members of the House seeking to postpone repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy that bars gay soldiers from serving openly. The policy was lifted by lawmakers last December, a move spearheaded by Udall, and is set to end officially this Tuesday according to a plan drawn up and followed over roughly the last year by military leaders. Yet, in a letter today, House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck McKeon and Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to, essentially, turn in paperwork to them before allowing the repeal to take effect.
While it might seem logical, given the nation’s latest job numbers, that when Congress returns after an August recess its members will be focused on the economy, unemployment and the national deficit, at least one federal lawmaker from California is hoping to switch the conversation to gays and lesbians in the military.
After being tipped off by a recent Washington Blade article about GOP LGBT groups’ attempts to influence the Republican Party platform at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Family Research Council President Tony Perkins says those groups should expect a fight.