In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Richard Socarides makes some excellent points about ending the military’s disastrous Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy. Socarides was special assistant to President Bill Clinton and senior White House adviser on LGBT equality from 1997-1999. Of special interest to our readers, he is also the son of NARTH co-founder Charles Socarides.
Occasionally, I run into Richard around the neighborhood – like at Joe’s Coffee in the morning. He’s a very nice guy, as well as someone who is extremely smart and articulate. We are fortunate to have him fighting on our side.
Here are a few excerpts from his Wall Street Journal commentary:
As a candidate for president, Barack Obama told the country’s leading gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, “America is ready to get rid of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. All that is required is leadership.” Now he is about to decide whether he will make good on his promise to end what he called a “policy of discrimination.”
What is especially troubling, however, is Mr. Obama’s oversensitivity to a dwindling minority of bigots on this issue. Hundreds of military careers have been destroyed on his watch for no valid reason. The country has been deprived of the talents of these service members and has wasted millions of dollars on their training.
Gay Americans have been among the president’s most ardent supporters. Their enthusiasm, and that of their families and friends, could be crucial in this year’s elections. The president’s action‚Äîor inaction‚Äîon Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will be noticed.
An increasingly frustrated bloc of gay voters‚Äîangry over marriage setbacks in California, Maine, New Jersey and New York and emboldened by Ted Olson’s and David Boies’s high-profile effort to declare unconstitutional laws that prohibit gay marriage‚Äîare growing impatient for equality. As Mr. Olson said in federal district court in San Francisco recently, discriminatory laws serve only to “label gay and lesbian persons as different, inferior, unequal and disfavored.”