As you listened to President Obama on MTV yesterday about DADT, you couldn't help but feel he was whispering sweet nothings into your ear and seeing someone else on the side. Nothing in his words match his actions. In fact, the decision to appeal the DADT Federal Court decision is tragic with powerful consequences. The Department of Justice, in appealing the case, is morally wrong and cowardly.
The message being sent by Secretary of Defense Gates and the Obama team deeply is ingrained with homophobia. What it basically says is that being a LGBT soldier is such an abnormal concept that we need to be studied, examined and have a special process all just for us! That instead of abiding by the court decision the entire military will be thrown into chaos and the world will come unraveled. Isn't it amazing that we never knew as a community that we had the power to threaten the entire military structure, the ability to conduct war and are so scary to the United States government?
In the 1960's I remember those against the 1964 Civil Rights Bill arguing that the nation couldn't be expected to end segregation of public accommodations overnight because chaos would prevail. Guess what? The day after the bill was signed, blacks and whites ate side by side across the land. There was little chaos and Americans abided by the law. There is no question in my mind that if President Obama hadn't appealed this court case there military would have implemented it without chaos. In fact, the Air Force was already in the process of doing just that.
Finally, in this time of tragic suicides and brutal hate crimes, the President couldn't have sent a worst message. Instead of standing up for justice, freedom and human dignity, he reinforced the concept that the LGBT community is indeed different from other Americans and needed a special process to be integrated into American life. Every young LGBT American will see a Democratic President making a decision involving their lives in a process that separates us from other Americans and not brings us together.
Empty promises of action in the future no longer work Mr. President. The odds of either a lame duck Congress or a new Republican dominated Congress tackling DADT after this year's elections is not promising. You know it and so do I.
The President had a moment where he could have exercised greatness and powerful moral leadership. Instead, he chose 'process' and 'politics' over justice and freedom. He once again refused even to issue a 'stop loss order' while his precious process takes place. No matter what happens in the future, the President will never again regain his moral high ground on this issue. He has failed us miserably. This could have had been all over yesterday.