Judging by a recent tweet, it would appear that Dan Choi is speaking to Harry Reid’s office again, despite the fallout they may have had over certain comments he made about the Majority Leader in certain publications.
As the 111th Congress convenes today for possibly the last time, Choi tweeted that Reid’s staff told him they’re receiving no help from the Obama Administration to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and he’s convening a rally at the White House at 2:00 PM.
Perhaps it will be time for these guys to get their handcuffs ready again?
UPDATE: Choi and 12 others did in fact chain themselves to the White House fence this afternoon and were arrested. The group included Justin Crockett Elzie (the first Marine expelled under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993), Get EQUAL director Robin McGehee, and transgender veteran Autumn Sandeen. It appears to be the largest group ever arrested at the White House over this issue.
Shortly before the arrest, Lt. Choi publicly renounced his affiliation with Knights Out and Out Serve, after the two groups surprisingly called for the passage of the Defense Authorization Bill with or without repealing “Don’t Ask.” It was as a member of Knights Out, a group of gay and lesbian West Point grad, that Choi first came to national attention on the Rachel Maddow Show last year. Now, he has parted ways with them.
This is just the latest in what’s going to be a frantic race over the next few weeks for those trying to repeal the military’s ban on gay service members serving openly before the next Congress.
Some highlights from developments over the weekend in case you missed them:
— John McCain is still against it and is calling for yet another study, despite the fact that stories on Veteran’s Day about a leaked version of the Pentagon’s current study shows repeal would have no negative effect.
— Aaron Belkin of UCSB’s Palm Center points out to the Washington Post that “Twenty two studies, including military studies, have found that gays don’t hurt the military. The forthcoming DOD study is #23.”