Obama: Orderly repeal of DADT protects gays

In the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine, President Obama says he’s “probably accomplished,” in the first two years of his administration, “70 percent of the things that we said we were going to do.”

One of his accomplishments, he said, is getting the Secretary of Defense and “the Joint Chiefs of Staff [sic] committed to changing” the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.

“That’s a big deal,” said the president, who initiated the discussion of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) on his own.

“Now, I am also the commander in chief of an armed forces that is in the midst of one war and wrapping up another. So I don’t think it’s too much to ask, to say ‘Let’s do this in an orderly way’ to ensure, by the way, that gays and lesbians who are serving honorably in our armed forces aren’t subject to harassment and bullying and a whole bunch of other stuff once we implement the policy,” continued Obama.

“I use that as an example because, on each of these areas, even those where we did not get some grand legislative victory, we have made progress. We have moved in the right direction.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, told an audience at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund dinner in Washington, D.C., Wednesday night that DADT “will be gone by the end of this year.” The comment echoes what she said to a group of gay leaders by phone in May.

A repeal measure has already passed the House. It is included in an annual defense spending bill in the Senate, but an effort to move on that legislation failed last month when Democrats were unable to muster 60 votes to break a Republican-led filibuster.

The White House has turned down requests from this reporter for an interview on behalf of client gay news organizations.

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