Log Cabin swipes back at Obama; survey may help on DADT repeal

Log Cabin Republican leader R. Clarke Cooper has broken his silence about at least one thing at last Tuesday’s meeting at the White House: He didn’t accept the president’s take on who was to blame for last month’s failed filibuster vote on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Cooper was among 10 LGBT activists meeting with White House senior officials Tuesday afternoon when President Obama dropped by for a few minutes. According to one White House official, Obama stopped by the meeting only briefly to “directly convey to the participants his personal commitment on this issue.”

The meeting was supposed to be completely off the record; but on Wednesday, in his interview with progressive bloggers, President Obama revealed that he told “the Log Cabin Republican who was here” on Tuesday that what the LGBT community needs to do “is make sure that we get two to five Republican votes in the Senate,” adding—to Cooper specifically, it “can’t be that hard. Get me those votes.”

Cooper said he responded to the president.

“I stated the following,” said Cooper, in an email to Keen News: “Mr. President, we had the votes in place prior to adjournment, but the majority leader absolutely refused to allow the minority to include non-repeal related amendments for debate germane to the defense bill. Senator Reid is responsible for prolonging the legislative process.”

In other DADT news this week, the unprecedented survey of almost half a million active duty military personnel—a survey gays criticized this summer—has reportedly determined that most service personnel don’t care whether Congress repeals the current ban on openly gay servicemembers.

NBC News was the first to report the news, which has not yet been officially confirmed by the Pentagon. An Associated Press story that ran Friday, October 29, indicates “officials who disclosed the survey’s findings spoke on condition of anonymity.”

A Pentagon spokeswoman declined to make any comment about the reports and said the survey results would be part of the Defense Department’s report to Congress on December 1.

LGBT groups initially criticized the survey when it was first revealed this summer. Language in the survey often referred to gays as “homosexuals” and questions seemed to raise the specter that straight servicemembers might have to fend off sexual advances in the barracks or bunkers if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was repealed.

But the reported results, if true, could go a long way toward attracting more support in the Senate for breaking the Republican-led filibuster and repealing the policy.

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