Defense Secretary Robert Gates marked Memorial Day with a message to U.S. soldiers reminding them that Congress is preparing to scrap the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. While he stressed that the change won't happen for months, some on Capitol Hill wonder whether it will happen at all, as the legislation gets entangled with other issues in a broad Pentagon funding bill and influential Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, vow to block it. Is "don't ask, don't tell" still alive and kicking? (Watch a CBS report about the status of the DADT repeal.)
Unfortunately, the DADT repeal is getting sidetracked by politics: The vast majority of Americans know the time has come to stop discriminating against gays in the military, say the editors of USA Today. The Obama administration and our top military commanders are determined to make it happen, finally. But "how quickly remains a sticking point," as Republicans — with support from many conservative Democrats — are still determined to derail, or at least delay, a vote in the full Senate.
"Our view on gays in the military: Historic votes don't assure end to 'don't ask, don't tell'"
Rushing to get rid of this policy is dangerous: The people who want to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" love to "wax eloquent about civil rights, morality, and ethics," says William Buchanan in Human Events. But the "proper way" to approach this is to conduct studies showing why, contrary to what many military experts think, letting gay soldiers serve openly won't hurt morale and combat readiness. It's irresponsible to even consider repealing DADT until there's proof it won't make our military weaker.
"Gays in the military"
Those "dangers" have been taken into account: "President Obama didn't rush to act on gays in the military in the first days of his administration" the way Bill Clinton did, says B. Daniel Blatt in AOL News. This bill only authorizes the repeal of DADT if a high-level review to be completed late this year finds it won't hurt the military. Assuming that review finds no problems, it's time to let gays openly "protect and defend" our country.
"Strange course toward gay ban repeal"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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