Gay rights groups and senior Obama
officials met Tuesday at the White House to discuss repeal of “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay and bisexual troops
from serving openly.
The Washington Post is reporting
that President Obama appeared briefly at the meeting.
The president stopped by “to directly
convey to the participants his personal commitment on the issue,”
an unnamed official told the paper.
Groups invited included representatives
of the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign,
Servicemembers United, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the
Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California at Santa
Barbara, the Stonewall Democrats and the Log Cabin Republicans. They
met with several senior Obama officials, including White House Deputy
Chief of Staff Jim Messina and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.
While participants declined to discuss
details, several reports are speculating that a second Senate attempt
to repeal the policy during a lame-duck session after the November
midterm elections was discussed at the meeting
meeting comes as the Obama administration is asking an appeals court
to permanently suspend a lower court's ruling ordering the Pentagon
to stop enforcing the ban. Obama has said he agrees that the law
should be repealed but is pursuing an appeal because he's looking for
a “durable” solution from Congress.
Advocates for repeal remain optimistic
that the law can be repealed this year. But
Republicans – led by Arizona Senator John McCain – have already
threatened to kill the effort with a filibuster.