Military Leaders Support Ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy
Top leaders of the U.S. military appeared in front of Congress this week expressing their support for an end to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. The policy was enacted as a compromise during the Clinton administration 17 years ago to allow gay men and women to serve in the military as long as they did not reveal their sexual orientation.
“No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens,” Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he was there on behalf of the President Obama, who reaffirmed his call for an end to the policy during his State of the Union address last week.
Mr. Gates told the committee that there would be an eleven–month study by the Pentagon investigating the practical issues related to changing the policy before the executive would ask Congress to act on a repeal.
Although he helped craft the policy, General Colin Powell also expressed his support for the Obama administration’s plans to review and repeal the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy
Several lawmakers have expressed disagreement over a possible change in the policy, including Senator John McCain.
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