29 May 2010

Defense secretary addresses concerns over repeal of ban on gays in military

Now that Congress has started passing legislation repealing DADT, Secretary Gates has made his own comments to addresses some concerns over the repeal of DADT.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sought Friday to ease concerns among U.S. troops about a legislative repeal of the military's ban on openly gay men and lesbians, saying that a long, careful review process lay ahead.

Hours later, the House approved a bill containing language aimed at ending the Clinton-era "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

In his first major address to U.S. troops on the politically charged legislation, Gates said he did not expect the Senate to pass a repeal for months, perhaps not until the end of the year.

Even then, President Obama would have to sign the legislation, and the Pentagon would have to give final approval. The latter must await a comprehensive review that includes input from troops.

"Every man and woman in uniform is a vitally important part of this review. We need to hear from you and your families so that we can make these judgments in the most informed and effective manner," Gates said. "So please let us know how to do this right."

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Gates decided to make the video to address "a lot of political posturing and maneuvering on this issue this week."

By: Brant

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