President Barrack Obama is coming under
increasing pressure from gay groups to end the discharges of gay
personnel in the military by issuing an executive order. But on
Tuesday, the White House indicated the president would not intervene.
The idea of halting discharges with an
order has floated about for some time, but only recently has gone
mainstream after several high-profile discharges, including
an Arab linguist in the Army National Guard who was fired after he
revealed he was gay on national television.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said
that the president is looking for “fundamental reform.”
“To get fundamental reform in this
instance requires a legislative vehicle,” Gibbs said. “The
president made a promise to change the policy; he will work with the
Joints Chief of Staff, the administration and with Congress to
ensure that we have a policy that works for our national interests.”
Opponents of the law – called “don't
ask, don't tell” – say the president has the authority to end the
law today. According to a study released by backers of repeal,
Congressional approval is not needed to end the discharges.
The report, How to End Don't Ask,
Don't Tell: A Roadmap of Political, Legal, Regulatory and
Organizational Steps to Equal Treatment, was released Tuesday by
a team of military law experts and sponsored by the Palm Center at
the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“The administration does not want to
move forward on this issue because of conservative opposition from
both parties in Congress, and Congress does not want to move forward
without a signal from the White House,” said Dr. Aaron Belkin,
Director of the Palm Center and a study co-author.
Openly gay Congressman Barney Frank, a
Democrat from Massachusetts, has said he
does not believe repeal will happen this year.
Grumbling about the pace of reform has
grown louder as the Obama administration has increasingly distanced
itself from gay and lesbian rights issues, including the more liberal
use of the word “change” by the administration when referring to
the “don't ask, don't tell” law. Previously, officials used the