Senate considers scrapping 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Senate considers scrapping military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy on homosexuality

by Tracie Potts

WASHINGTON (NBC) - The Pentagon is moving forward with President Obama's promise to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.

Military leaders told Congress Tuesday they'll spend the rest of this year figuring out how to make sure U.S. forces stay strong if homosexuals are allowed to serve openly.

It's up to Congress whether to repeal the law, but military officials told lawmakers: When you make the change, we'll be ready to make it happen.

More than 13,000 gay members have left the military since the policy was implemented.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen says he's served with gays since the 1960s and supports the change.

"We have in place policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens," he told Congress.

Still, Republicans worry allowing openly gay soldiers in barracks, in foxholes and on the front lines could threaten security.

"Persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would very likely create an unacceptable risk," said Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss.

Senator John McCain agreed.

"At this moment, when we're asking more of our military than at any time in recent history, we should not repeal this law."

Meanwhile, Secretary Gates has also ordered a 45-day study of how gay service members can be treated more fairly right now.

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