"Equality is a moral imperative." That's what Barack Obama said in an open letter in February 2008, describing the civil rights of the LGBT community.
In the president's civil rights agenda he calls for the repeal of the military "Don't ask, don't tell." policy that requires the discharge of servicemembers who perform homosexual acts or make statements identifying themselves as homosexuals. Here he cites the dramatic losses (300) of valuable individuals who served in the military as linguists, 50 of which were capable in Arabic. Here is a piece about one of those fifty patriots who were discharged under "Don't ask, don't tell." I can personally vouch for the superb character of the individual, who I count as a good friend.
At this time, Politifact.com's Obameter is tracking Obama campaign promise #293 - "Call for repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy" as a "no action" promise.
So what is the delay on this "moral imperative?"
There is the argument that Obama is waiting for consensus to develop in congress before making any moves at suggesting repeal. This is what prompted Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to conduct a 300-person rally in Washington on 13 March 2009. Nancy Pelosi says that repeal of D.A.D.T. is a priority and expects to pass it "when we have the votes."and is quoted in the last link.
Perhaps the "moral imperative" can wait until after midterm elections in 2010. That way some members can avoid the risk of upsetting voters that are against repeal. Obama will still be president in 2010 right?
Perhaps the "moral imperative" can wait until 2012. This way Obama won't risk a second term to the loss in support a repeal might make.
Maybe I'll be checking Politifact's Obameter late into the second term sometime around 2015 when it might just change to an "in the works" campaign promise.
(Thanks to two friends who reminded me I was upset about this)