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Media Takes Notice as Top Military Brass Speak Out on Don't Ask, Don't Tell

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Gen. James Conway

Marine General James Conway, the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that he supports the Pentagon’s study on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). Gen. Conway was clear, however, that repealing DADT must take a back seat to the military’s ability to protect the country, according to The Associated Press.

Conway’s testimony comes on the heels of similar testimony by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that both Generals “expressed reservations about moving too swiftly to change the policy, and both endorsed the decision by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to deliberately review the issue before acting.”

Earlier this month, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael G. Mullen told Congress that he personally supported lifting the ban on openly gay men and lesbians serving in the United States armed forces:

“No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”

(To read GLAAD’s original blog post about Adm. Mullen’s testimony, click here)

International leaders are also weighing in on the repeal. According to PinkPaper.com, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sang the praises of his military’s gay and lesbian service members and suggested Americans could reap the same rewards if the ban is overturned:

“You are the pride of our country and we thank you very much,” Brown told an audience of LGBT people and supporters. “We know this debate continues in America today. I would say to people who still favor ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, look at our experience in Britain.”

Yesterday, GLAAD joined Media Matters for America in calling on the mainstream media to cover Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell fairly and accurately. For more information about GLAAD and Media Matters’ open letter to the media, click here.

GLAAD will continue to follow the media’s coverage of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. For updates, check out GLAADblog.org

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