Quotes of the day

posted at 10:40 pm on December 20, 2010 by Allahpundit

“Advocates are advising military gays to stay in the closet for now, as the Pentagon begins months of scene-setting to make sure removing the ban does not hurt combat readiness.

“Once President Obama signs the gay-ban repeal, passed by Congress last week, it will trigger a new phase that will see the Pentagon dictate to commanders how to prepare troops for the historic social change…

“‘The bottom line, for now, gay, lesbian and bisexual service members must remain cautiously closeted,’ said Trevor Thomas, spokesman for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a leader in the campaign to end the ban. ‘Even with this historic vote, service members must continue to serve in silence until repeal is final.’”

***
“As gay people around the country reveled on Sunday in the historic Senate vote to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ a liberal media watchdog group said it planned to announce on Monday that it was setting up a “communications war room for gay equality” in an effort to win the movement’s next and biggest battle: for a right to same-sex marriage.

“The new group, Equality Matters, grew out of Media Matters, an organization backed by wealthy liberal donors — including prominent gay philanthropists — that has staked its claim in Washington punditry with aggressive attacks on Fox News and conservative commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck…

“For the gay rights movement, the right to marry is the holy grail, because so many other benefits — including Social Security and health benefits for gay partners, adoption rights, tax benefits and others — flow from it…

“I think the lesson we have learned over the last two years is that you’ve got to be tough,’ Mr. Mixner said, ‘and you’ve got to keep people’s feet to the fire.’”

***
Polls show the public is broadly supportive of equal rights for gay men and lesbians on several issues — with the exception of the right to marry. The vast majority of Americans, nearly 90 percent, favor equality of opportunity in the workplace. More than 60 percent favored overturning ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ — a figure that has stood steady at least since 2005, according to the Gallup Organization, which tracks public sentiment on gay rights…

“‘There have been enormous and important shifts in public attitudes, and those are a hopeful sign,’ said Tobias B. Wolff, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who advises the Obama White House on gay rights issues. But Mr. Wolff speaks of a ‘political gay panic,’ saying, ‘Even when the public is so strongly behind equality, so strongly behind the right thing, politicians are hyper-cautious.’…

“Conservatives are dismayed.

“‘The other side is winning the war on words and the rhetoric,’ said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of Family Research Council Action, the legislative arm of the conservative advocacy group. ‘Generationally, this is an uphill battle for us, and we realize that.’”

***
“As President Obama and his speechwriters prepare for his upcoming State of the Union address, here’s a modest suggestion:

“When you take the victory lap you are entitled to for ending the prohibition on gays serving openly in the military, follow up with a call to end the remaining discrimination faced by members of our military—the second-class status of Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) cadets on some of our leading college campuses…

“Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of the gay conservative organization GOProud, puts it this way: ‘Throughout the debate over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, advocates of repeal like President Obama often and rightfully pointed out that repeal was in the best interest of our military and our national security. If President Obama and liberals in Congress are serious about a commitment to ending policies that damage our military, now is the time for them to ensure that ROTC is welcomed back to campus—and that its cadets enjoy all the rights and privileges of any other student organization.’”

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