Last night President Obama signed the funding authorization bill for the Department of Defense which includes "protections" against the punishment of military members and clergy who harass gay soldiers. Those so-called protections, sponsored by Rep. Todd Akin, were discussed here last month and were backed by GOP House members opposed to the repeal of DADT. The president included a signing statement which indicates his objection to the anti-gay portion of the bill. "Section 533 is an unnecessary and ill-advised provision, as the military already appropriately protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains and service members. The Secretary of Defense will ensure that the implementing regulations do not permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct. My Administration remains fully committed to continuing the successful implementation of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and to protecting the rights of gay and lesbian service members; Section 533 will not alter that."
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