The U.S. Senate passed, and President Barack Obama signed into law last December, a repeal of the Clinton-era Don't Ask Don't Tell policy for the U.S. armed forces. But putting that repeal into practice has proved slow, and the defense spending bill passed by the House of Representatives on May 26 includes an amendment that would extend the certification process required of armed forces branches before they can implement the repeal. In addition, the bill contains language specifying marriage as between a man and a woman, and prohibiting gay marriage on military facilities or by military personnel.
This has not gone down well with some members of Congress, including Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, and David Cicilline, who sent a letter today asking Barack Obama to explicitly state that he would veto any version of the bill that contained language that would undermine the repeal. Here's the letter:
Before the vote that passed the bill, the White House issued a statement saying Obama would veto the bill if it included funding for a second engine for a joint strike fighter, if it hindered implementation of the anti-nuclear START treaty, or if it rewrote standards on the treatment of detainees. But the administration didn't threaten a veto over the language to which Frank and his colleagues object.
The bill still must pass a Senate vote before it goes before the president to sign.