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Leaked Pentagon Report Smoothes Way to DADT Repeal

A draft of the Pentagon report, leaked yesterday, reveals that a repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy would not be detrimental to the military. The report includes surveys of hundreds of thousands of active-duty military service members and their families and posits that most soldiers are not against gay and lesbians serving openly, though some military personnel, primarily those in the Army and Marines, voiced their dissent. The report is scheduled to be released December 1. Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United, remarked in a press release, “These results confirm what those of us who actually know the modern military, especially the rank and file troops, have said all along. The men and women of America’s armed forces are professionals who are capable of handling this policy change.” The Defense Authorization Bill with the DADT repeal amendment in it is set to be voted on in the lame duck session that will begin next week. The Republican filibuster of the bill must be stopped for it to proceed to a vote. In May, the Defense Authorization Bill passed in the House but was filibustered in the Senate. The Bill contains an amendment by Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) that repeals “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” if the repeal is consistent with military readiness, effectiveness, and unit cohesiveness and the Department of Defense “has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to implement its repeal.” In early November, a federal appeals court three judge panel ruled that the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will stand indefinitely until the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) appeals process concludes. DADT was instituted by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 and prohibits the military from inquiring about a service member’s sexual orientation, and also calls for the discharge of anyone who acknowledges being lesbian or gay. Thus far, the policy has led to the expulsion of more than 13,000 military service personnel.

Sources:

Servicemembers United Press Release 11/8/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/8/10, 11/2/10, 10/18/10