BY Kerry Eleveld
February 16 2010 9:55 AM ET
A coalition of progressive bloggers launched a campaign Tuesday urging LGBT equality advocates to contact the Human Rights Campaign in order to pressure President Barack Obama to push for legislative repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2010.
“OUR MESSAGE TO HRC IS SIMPLE: Publicly demand that President Obama take the lead in getting DADT repealed this year,” read the post on AmericaBlog.
The bloggers are looking for the President to take a lead role in ensuring that Congress passes legislation to overturn the military’s gay ban this year and to publicly call on Congress to do so. To that end, they are mounting what they called a "blog swarm" to compel HRC to advocate more vocally for the President to take a stand.
Joining the call to action are Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend, Michelangelo Signorile of Sirius OutQ and The Gist, Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos, Andy Towle of TowleRoad, Joe Jervis of Joe My God, Bil Browning of Bilerico, Taylor Marsh of TaylorMarsh.com, and Dan Savage of Slog.
The post noted “an amazing few weeks of momentum” on ending the policy but added that momentum is “quickly slipping away.”
“After talking to people around Washington over the past two weeks,” wrote John Aravosis of AmericaBlog, “Joe and I have found a vacuum of leadership that is leading to confusion. The Hill has no idea if the President does or doesn't want them to move ahead with repeal this year. The House has already said that it's waiting for the Senate to do something. The Senate is in turmoil after the Democrats lost a single seat in January. And the DADT proposals being discussed in the Senate are focused on every possible approach except full repeal this year.”
The post goes on to say that they are targeting HRC because it’s the LGBT community’s largest, best-funded organization with the most access to the White House.
“We truly believe that if HRC were to openly call on the White House to get DADT repealed this year, it would happen. Mostly because Democrats are rightly worried about the gay vote (and the support of our straight allies) months before a critical congressional election.”
The post encourages readers to contact HRC and voice their concerns and provides the following information:
HRC front desk: (202) 628-4160
TTY: (202) 216-1572
Toll-Free: (800) 777-4723
HRC website comment page: http://www.hrc.org/12022.htm
General membership e-mail at hrc: [email protected]
The Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement in response to this story:
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has to be repealed this year. That has been the Human Rights Campaign’s position from the start, and at this point there is no one in the White House who does not know it. We and the community to whom we are accountable agree: this is the year.
We firmly support including repeal in the annual Department of Defense Authorization bill, and have not only indicated as much, but continue to make that case, all while working to gain support for the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.
The President has committed to repeal, but has also made clear that we need the votes in Congress.
If you are a member of HRC, you have received alerts telling you to push your member of Congress to get the Military Readiness Enhancement Act to a vote, and to the President’s desk. You’ve also learned about HRC’s nationwide campaign to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
The campaign will continue to push the momentum for repeal of DADT through an on-the-ground campaign manager in key states to build diverse local coalitions; to increase public education; to activate grassroots contacts with members of Congress; to form an online hub for action on repeal; and to partner with other key groups working on repeal including the Center for American Progress, Servicemembers United and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
We encourage activists to do your part to move repeal legislation. https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction...
We have been lobbying the White House relentlessly and we’ve seen more movement in recent weeks than in the previous 16 years. Our nation’s top defense officials testified, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed. That did not happen in a vacuum.
These events are just the start. There is a clear path to repeal, and that’s the one we’re on.
If you want to get involved in the fight, please email [email protected].