Lawmakers Consider Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Senate Armed Services Committee is holding a hearing on the Pentagon report on the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, a day after the results of the ten-month study were released. According to the study, a repeal of the policy, which bans openly gay members of the military from serving, would not have a significant impact on the nation's armed forces.

"We conclude that, while a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will likely, in the short term, bring about some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and detention, we do not believe this disruption will be widespread or long-lasting, and can be adequately addressed by the recommendations we offer below," read the report's executive summary.

The report went on to explain those recommendations, which include reinforcing equal treatment for all members of the military, as well as additional "proactive training and education" to smooth the transition.  

Defense leaders were quick to defend the report, and called on Congress to take action. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged the Senate to pass legislation that would repeal the 17-year ban by the end of this year. Top administration officials, including Gates, have said they would prefer Congress to decide the issue, rather that the courts.

As The Associated Press reports, Arizona Sen. John McCain is among those who've expressed opposition to an immediate repeal, claiming more time is neeeded to consider the issue, as well as the Pentagon's report, especially when the nation is at war.

In October, a federal judge in California issued a worldwide injunction against enforcement of the ban. That decision has been appealed by the U.S. Justice Department.

Watch a video of Thursday's hearing on CSPAN:

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