His filibuster held. Barring a lame-duck Senate taking action after November, it seems increasingly possible to me that, even if the Pentagon review advocates an end to the persecution of gay servicemembers, the House, dominated by large numbers of extreme Christianists after January, will refuse to allow gays to serve openly.
I think this could be a huge deal for the relationship between gay voters and the Democratic party. Over 75 percent of the public wants the ban ended, and yet even when the Democrats control both Houses and have a president opposed to the policy, they failed to end it in two years. Why? Because, sadly, it was not a real priority; and because the main lobby group, the Human Rights Campaign, is so enmeshed in the Democratic party establishment, it has no clout at all.
We should not give up; and we should lobby the Senate furiously after the election to end the ban in a less febrile political environment. Maybe they will and this will end well. But maybe it won't. It rips me up to think of those servicemembers out there still living under this threat, and appalls me that their lives and sacrifices could be cynically used by Senator McCain to pander to the far right to secure re-election.
(The video above is my worrying about just such a complacent scenario a year ago. I hope I am still proven wrong.)
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