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Pentagon: ‘No plans to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

PinkNews Staff Writer May 20, 2009
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The Pentagon said yesterday there are no plans to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the directive that bans gays from serving openly in the military.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed that the military’s top leaders have had initial discussions with the White House about the gay ban but said there were no plans to repeal it.

Speaking to reporters, he said: “I do not believe there are any plans under way in this building for some expected, but not articulated, anticipation that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be repealed.”

Morrell added that Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, both have discussed the issue with the president.

“They’re aware of where the president wants to go on this issue, but I don’t think that there is any sense of any immediate developments in the offing on efforts to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Morrell said.

Last week, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president would not intervene to reinstate military personnel fired for being gay.

He added that change would take legislative approval.

“To get fundamental reform in this instance requires a legislative vehicle,” Gibbs said. “The president made a promise to change this policy; he will work with the Joints Chiefs of Staff, the administration and with Congress to ensure that we have a policy that works for our national interests.”

Military law experts have said that President Obama can end the dismissal of openly gay soldiers with just a single order.

The study from the Palm Center at the University of California claims that despite popular opinion, Congressional approval is not needed to lift the ban.

Around 12,500 servicemembers have been ejected since the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy’s introduction in 1994, including 60 Arabic linguists

Related topics: Americas

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