May 28, 2010
Ridiculous ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ policy repealed
Another historic event occurred under the Obama Administration on Thursday when the U.S. House and the Senate Armed Services Committee both voted to repel the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military.
The Senate Armed Services Committee – chaired by our own Sen. Carl Levin - voted 16-12 to repeal the law. I was disappointed that Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., voted against the measure; the only Democrat to do so. Sen. Susan Collins, R- Maine, was the only Republican to vote for it. Fifteen votes were needed to include the measure in the 2011 defense authorization bill.
“Today’s action by the Senate Armed Services Committee is an important step to end this discriminatory policy,” Levin told the Hill. “I believe that allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly will open the ranks to more patriotic men and women who wish to serve their country.”
I could not agree more. As I have said in the past, I spent 20 years in the Navy, and for anyone to say there are not gays in the military is stupid or they have their head in the sand. It is working fine in the armed services of some of biggest allies, like Australia, Great Britain and Norway, and it will work fine here.
According to the Hill, “under the provision, the repeal will not be implemented until the Pentagon finishes its review of how it would impact the military. President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen must first certify it can be achieved consistent with the military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruitment and retention.” However, all three support repealing the ban.
Later on Thursday, the full House approved a compromise amendment sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell” by a vote of 234-194.
The compromise allows the repeal of the policy only after “the Pentagon finishes its review of repeal implementation and the President, Gates and Mullen certify that it can be achieved consistent with the military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruitment and retention,” according to the Hill.