White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today emphasized that President Obama wants an end to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, even as his administration appears likely to appeal a judge’s ruling that the law in unconstitutional.
Briefing reporters today off-camera, Gibbs found about seven different ways to say Obama opposes the policy, apparently seeking to reassure gay rights groups that have become increasingly vocal – often within hearing range of the president – in their demands that he end it. Gibbs asserted:
The president believes this policy is unjust and detrimental to our national security. He strongly believes it’s time for this policy to end.
But the ruling has put Obama in an awkward position, since it seems that as a legal matter the Justice Department has an obligation to challenge a ruling that voids a standing law of the United States. This won’t sit well with gay activists and others who want to put DADT to bed.
Gibbs said the policy should be ended “in an orderly way,” calling on the Senate to act to abolish the law, as the House already done.