On Gays in Military, Obama Moves Slowly
White House to defend 'don't ask' in court, will seek 'sensible' change
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted May 19, 2009 8:47 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopefuls raised their hands to say they would eliminate the "don't ask, don't tell" policy during a presidential primary debate in Manchester, NH, June 3, 2007.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – On gays in the military, President Obama is stalling. During the campaign, he promised to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy instituted as a compromise early in President Clinton’s term. Now that he’s got the chance, the Wall Street Journal reports, he’s being cagey. His spokesman says he wants to change the policy by legislation, not presidential fiat.

Meantime, the policy is in force. An Army National Guard lieutenant announced he was gay to test the president’s commitment. And in the case of a lesbian discharged by the Air Force, the White House will defend the policy in court after an appeals panel ruled that it must show the discharge must be argued on its specific merits and isn’t covered by a blanket approach.