View From the Hill: "DADT" Momentum

COMMENTARY: The issue of repealing "don't ask, don't tell" has been at a virtual standstill for months, but this week the dam started to give way to movement from both the White House and HRC.

BY Kerry Eleveld

June 04 2009 11:00 PM ET

When that time comes, let's hope President Obama moves beyond the campaign rhetoric he offered to Brian Williams on marriage this week.

"I think gays and lesbians have a friend in the White House because I've consistently committed myself to civil unions, making sure that they have the ability to visit each other in hospitals, that they are able to access benefits, that they have a whole host of legal rights that they currently do not have," he said.

As a friend put it to me, it's so '90s -- especially against the backdrop of his boldness in Cairo, which was unabashedly revolutionary and progressive. I mean, c'mon, Dick Cheney's views on gay marriage now outstrip the president's.

Not to mention the fact that providing the "whole host of legal rights" Obama mentions is going to take some leadership in Washington since the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal government from recognizing perfectly legal same-sex marriages.

The White House is no doubt thrilled that all the real work on marriage is being done in the states -- that is clearly where they want the debate to stay. But as more states make marriage equality the law of their land, it's incumbent upon President Obama to translate his campaign speak on the trail into movement on the Hill.

Tags: Politics

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