Civilian and military leaders of the U.S. armed forces are urging members of Congress to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Their view is based mainly on a 10-month study released Tuesday by the Pentagon that indicates 70 percent of 115,000 troops and 44,000 military spouses surveyed are okay with gays serving openly.
Second District Congressman Joe Wilson, who serves on the U.S. House Committee on Armed Forces, disagrees with the call to repeal the current policy. Appearing on C-SPAN Wednesday, Wilson says a closer look at the survey numbers tells a different story.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen says getting rid of the policy would not have a major impact on morale or readiness as many feared. Wilson argues that the military is basically divided in two parts which includes those in active combat and support forces. Wilson says the opinions of those who serve in combat should carry more weight.
U.S. Defensive Secretary Robert Gates says he would like to see the Senate repeal the policy during the lame duck session. Gates is wary that the issue may wind up in the courts. Wilson says Congress has more important issues to take care of now, and repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should be debated when the 112th Congress is seated next year.
A Pew Research Center survey conducted weeks ago indicated that 58 percent of Americans favored allowing gays to serve openly in the military.