On November 15th, 2010 I chained myself to the White House fence with 12 other LGBT veterans and civilian activists in protest of the U.S. Military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. I did it because I cared, because I thought that every soldier had the right to serve.
My understanding is that the campaign plan for 2012 is still in formation. But one critical element is clear. The campaign will be even more reliant than it was in 2008 on its grass roots ground game. Jim Messina is definitely the man for that job.
If people want to know what's keeping the wallets of progressive donors shut, it's not because change isn't happening "fast enough." Its because they want Democrats to respect core Democratic values, not give excuses.
The best option for the gay rights community is to adjust its goals immediately and work with Congress to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" while allowing the Pentagon the flexibility to manage implementation as it sees fit.
If there's one lesson we should have learned in the debate over gay service, it's that "don't ask, don't tell" was never about military effectiveness. It was a moral and political abuse of power, propped up by a ban on speaking truth to that power.
In announcing today that it would make it harder to fire gay troops under existing policy, the Pentagon took a major step towards ending Don't Ask Don't Tell which could have a real impact on the lives of service members.
Despite the military's move to relax and soon do away with "don't ask, don't tell," repeal in Congress is in grave peril. Obama should repeal the misguided policy through the 2011 Defense Authorization bill.
Last night, President Obama gave the strongest signal yet that he is serious about seeing the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law repealed, and soon. In his first SOTU, amid a highly charged political environment.