The White House, leaders in Congress and LGBT rights organizations like the Human Rights Campaign are voicing support for a compromise on legislation that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Defense Secretary Gates wrote a letter to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in opposition to Congressional action prior to completion of the Defense Department’s study on the implementation process of allowing gays to serve openly. That letter put the repeal effort “on life support” in the opinions of some Washington pundits, but Gates is now supporting the new compromise.
The deal, proposed by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin, along with Rep. Patrick Murphy, would repeal the ban in law, but would allow the Defense Department to continue to enforce the current discriminatory policy until after the study is completed. According to the Washington Blade, the legislation would still allow the Defense Department to make all decisions on discharges of LGBT personnel. Lt. Dan Choi, a prominent activist for repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy called the compromise another “delay” in allowing soldiers “to tell the truth about who they are.” (See video below)
A vote on the compromise is expected on May 27, on the floor of the House and in the Senate Armed Services Committee.