Defense Officials, Local Congressman Speak Out Against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
The top two defense officials in the nation announced their desire to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a Feb. 2 hearing. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that they support repealing the 1993 law that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the military, but they need more time to review the impact and how to carry out the change in policy. Gates testified that he has appointed a “high-level working group” to do the review, which will take about a year. In the meantime, the military is moving toward enforcing the existing policy “in a fairer manner,” according to Gates.
Local Congressman Sam Farr, representing the 17th Congressional District, expressed his approval of the administration’s moves to repeal the policy in a Feb. 2 press release. He denounced the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy as “outrageous” and “morally repugnant” and states that it “bleeds our military of talented individuals at a time when we need every resource available.” However, Farr notes that “in the end, a repeal of the policy will require an act of Congress.”
In the press release, Farr pledges to “continue [his] work in the House to pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
He states, “I’m an original co-sponsor of the House legislation, which had 187 members supporting it as of Tuesday. Unfortunately, only one Republican has signed onto the bill. I believe legislation overturning this anti-gay policy is long overdue and I look forward to swift action.”