Talks Continue on Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Top military officials will appear before Congress this week to testify about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, The Associated Press reported today.

New York Daily News also reports that Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) will announce next week that he is “taking the lead on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the 1993 law that prohibits gay people from serving openly in the armed forces.”

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Lieberman told [reporter James Kirchick] that his commitment to repealing DADT is twofold. First, allowing gays to serve openly fulfills the bedrock American promise of providing citizens with "an equal opportunity to do whatever job their talents and sense of purpose and motivations lead them to want to do - including military service." Second, and no less important for a lawmaker whose commitment to national security the Pentagon can't doubt, is that "When you artificially limit the pool of people who can enlist then you are diminishing military effectiveness."

Sen. Lieberman went on to speak of his experience on the Armed Services Committee:

"My own experience as a member of the Armed Services Committee, visiting our troops on bases here in this country and abroad, particularly in war zones, the most remarkable quality you'll find is unit cohesion. What matters is not the gender of the other person in your unit or the color or the religion or in this case the sexual orientation. It's whether that person is a good soldier you can depend on. And that's why I think it's going to work."

Similarly, The New York Times published an article today about a new Palm Center study which indicates that a speedy repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would not endanger or disrupt American troops.

That study, “Gays in Foreign Militaries 2010: A Global Primer,” is set to be released Tuesday.

The Santa Barbara-based research center surveyed existing policies that allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly in Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa and other countries.

“On implementation, the study said that most countries made the change swiftly, within a matter of months and with what it termed little disruption to the armed services,” The New York Times reported.

The New York Times article also noted that General David H. Patraeus spoke on the subject of repeal on NBC’s Meet the Press program on Sunday.

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In that interview, Gen. Patraeus said that a review of the policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces is “warranted.” Although Gen. Patraeus declined to give his own opinion on the policy, he said that he would do so if prompted by lawmakers.

When asked by host David Gregory if men and women "serving on the ground and in the field care one way or the other if their comrade in arms are gay or lesbian," Gen. Patraeus replied, "I'm not sure that they do."

GLAAD will continue to follow the media’s coverage of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Updates can be found on GLAADblog.org

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