Saturday, December 18, 2010

DADT and the DREAM Act

This lame duck session of the 111th Congress is monumental.  In addition to repealing the Bush/GOP Tax Increase of 2011, extending unemployment benefits, and reducing the payroll tax to stimulate the economy, the Congress has taken action on two bills important to our military.

First, the Senate invoked cloture and moved toward passage of the repeal of the "don't ask don't tell" (DADT) policy toward gays in the military.  The policy, implemented by President Clinton shortly after taking office in 1993, basically allowed gay men and women to serve, but they could not disclose their sexual orientation, and could not be asked about their sexual orientation.  The repeal of this policy would allow gay men and women to serve without fear of being discharged or punished based on their sexual orientation.  There would still be regulations governing conduct, as has always been the case.

Secondly, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, thus effectively killing the DREAM Act.  This act, among other things, would provide a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally as children, but served honorably in the military.  These folks as young children did not legally consent to becoming "illegal immigrants," but went to to get their education, get accepted into military service, and served honorably.  They have without a doubt earned the opportunity to enjoy the rights of full citizens.  To deny them a path to citizenship is to dishonor their service to our country.

WELL DONE on DADT, and SHAME ON YOU on killing the DREAM Act.

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