Gates Solicits Military Input on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal as House Passes Defense Bill
As the House passed the 2011 defense authorization bill this afternoon containing a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Defense Secretary Gates issued a video statement to the military encouraging servicemembers to tell his Working Group how to “minimize any disruption” to the force when repeal happens.
A reluctant supporter of the legislative repeal — Gates had wanted Congress to pass a repeal only after the Working Group completed its survey in December — Gates observed that the full bill itself may not pass until “the end of the year,” and “nothing will change in terms of our current policies and practices” on the ban on open gay military service until, as the legislation states, Gates, President Obama and Adm. Mike Mullen all endorse the Working Group’s findings.
“Every man and woman in uniform is a vitally important part of this review,” Gates said in the video. “We need to hear from you and your families so we can make these judgments in the most informed and effective manner.” Watch: