Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pentagon Report: Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Won't Harm Military

The Pentagon released its study on ending "don't ask, don't tell," the policy that bans gay men and women from serving their country. The study concludes that repealing the policy will not disrupt military cohesion. The majority of those in uniform support ending the ban. It is indeed time to end this institutionalized bigotry–and it must be done now in the lame duck session of the Senate, before the Republicans take over:

The Pentagon has concluded that allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the United States armed forces presents a low risk to the military’s effectiveness, even at a time of war, and that 70 percent of surveyed service members believe that the impact on their units would be positive, mixed or of no consequence at all.

In an exhaustive nine-month study on the effects of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the 17-year-old policy that requires gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret or face discharge, the authors concluded that repeal would in the short run most likely bring about “some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention.” But they said those effects could be mitigated by effective leadership.

...At a news conference on Tuesday announcing the release of the report, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said repeal “would not be the wrenching, traumatic change that many have feared and predicted.” He said it was a “matter of urgency” that the lame-duck Senate vote in the next weeks to repeal the law.

If not, Mr. Gates predicted fights in the courts and the possibility that the repeal would be “imposed immediately by judicial fiat.”

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