Servicemembers United: HRC could have done more
One of the country’s leading advocates of lifting the military’s ban on openly gay service says the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell might have been a sure thing by now … if other gay rights advocates had taken action sooner, and stronger.
Alex Nicholson is head of the group Servicemembers United. He told SIRIUS XM OutQ’s Michelangelo Signorile on Thursday that while he’s optimistic that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will be lifted this year … if it fails, it may be because gay activists waited too long to mobilize around the issue.
Nicholson: “You just can’t build the infrastructure, you can’t get the operation going, get the wheels going as fast as you need them to go in a matter of two months. And of course we’ve seen a large scaling up of the community’s operations on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell since March. But in my opinion, that really needed to happen last Summer.”
Nicholson said the country’s largest gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign, still isn’t doing all it can to use its influence to make sure Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed this year.
Nicholson: “Well I’ll say honestly, first of all, I don’t believe HRC has done everything they could have to put pressure on the White House. I believe there are some there who believe – they honestly believe – that they have done everything they can. And I think that’s just a difference of opinion.”
Still, Nicholson told Signorile he’s more optimistic about lifting the ban now, than he has been since Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked Congress not to act until a Pentagon study of repeal is completed.