Monday, November 15, 2010

Gays in the military

Washington Post
November 15, 2010

The last possible rationale for maintaining the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy appears to have been pulverized.

The Post's Ed O'Keefe and Greg Jaffe report that 70 percent of respondents in a survey of more than 500,000 military personnel saw little risk in repealing the policy that prevents gay and lesbian service members from serving openly. A Pentagon task force studying repeal sent out the survey; its full report is expected by Dec. 1.

President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have called for the elimination of "don't ask, don't tell." They must review a proposed rollback plan to ensure that it does not hurt morale, recruitment or troop readiness. But they cannot unilaterally adopt a new policy unless Congress votes to eliminate the shortsighted and discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" law. Some on Capitol Hill, most notably Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and some military brass have resisted, citing concerns about possible disruptions that could be particularly acute because of the country's involvement in two wars. The Pentagon's findings should allay those fears.