White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, shown here talking to the media earlier this month, explained the president’s stance on ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” Wednesday.
This may seem counterintuitive, if not counterproductive, given that President Obama has made noises about opposing discrimination against GLBTQ members of the military, but the Obama administration is apparently preparing to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips’ injunction to put an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell” practices worldwide.
Why, you may ask? It seems to have more to do with protocol (lame!) than principle, as CNN broke it down Wednesday. —KA
A Justice Department official said that although the administration believes the law is discriminatory, it will nonetheless defend it as it does when all acts of Congress are challenged.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs referred all questions on a possible appeal back to the Justice Department, but said President Barack Obama “strongly believes it’s time for this policy to end.”
“The president strongly believes this policy is unjust, detrimental to our national security and that it discriminates against those who are willing to die for this country,” Gibbs told reporters, saying he discussed the matter with the president earlier Wednesday morning.
Emphasizing process over time, Gibbs repeatedly told reporters that ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is more a matter of how and not when. The president, Gibbs said, believes the law should be changed by Congress, not by the courts, to allow for a smoother transition away from the policy by the military, which is fighting two wars.