Biden: 'Don't ask' just first step
WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden predicted Friday the evolution in thinking that will permit gays to soon serve openly in the military eventually will bring about a national consensus for same-sex marriage.
Changes in attitudes by military leaders, those in the service and the public allowed the repeal by Congress of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Biden noted in a nationally broadcast interview on Christmas Eve.
"I think the country's evolving," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America." And I think you're going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so-called (Defense of Marriage Act). He said he agreed with Obama that his position in gay marriage is "evolving."
Gay marriage is legal in only a handful of states, mostly in the Northeast, and in Iowa. President Obama recently said his feelings on the gay marriage issue were in a state of transition. But he said he still believes in allowing strong civil unions that provide certain protections and legal rights that married couples have.
Obama said he is still wrestling with whether gay couples should have the right to marry, now that the change in the law will allow them to serve openly in combat.
Presidents in recent years have struggled with this issue. President Bill Clinton developed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for the military, and Obama promised repeatedly in his 2008 campaign for the presidency that his administration would have a more supportive attitude toward gays. But gay rights groups have said frequently they have been disappointed with the administration's performance on this issue.
The question about same-sex marriage was raised at Obama's news conference Wednesday, just hours after he signed landmark legislation repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military. The law ends the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forced gays to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal. Before that, there was an outright ban on service by gays in the military.
But in letters to the troops after the new bill was signed into law, the four military service chiefs warned that the ban was still in place, and that implementing the policy change in full was still months away.
Recommendations to put the new policy into place were outlined in a report last month, and those steps now must be written into concrete regulations governing the military. Defense officials say that they don't know how long it will take before the Pentagon completes its plan and certifies the change will not damage combat readiness. Once certified, the implementation would begin 60 days later.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Tomlin/Colbert drafts deserve another look
- Eldest Bush to remain in Houston hospital for weekend
- Man dies following jump from bridge in Manor
- Steelers-Bengals rivalry typically heats up when December arrives
- ‘Kill for Thrill’ perps longest on Pa. death row
- New Pitt coach Narduzzi walks in his father’s shoes
- Mayor: Mall brawl gives Monroeville a black eye
- Penguins reassign defenseman Dumoulin to minor league team
- Staying true to Pittsburgh neighborhoods a challenge for developers
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25: CV’s Whitehead best of the best
- Hobbled Penguins go quietly in loss to Capitals