Cheney supports repealing 'Don't ask, don't tell'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney came out in favor of repealing "Don't ask, don't tell," (DADT) today.

Cheney said that the support of military leaders had convinced him that it was time for a change.

"Twenty years ago the military were strong advocates of 'Don't ask, don't tell.' I think things have change significantly since then," Cheney said on ABC's "This Week."

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"I think that society has moved on. It's partly a generational question," he continued. "When the [Joint] Chiefs come forward and say 'we think we can do it,' is strikes me that it's time to reconsider the policy."

Cheney was referring to the testimony of Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month that it was "personal view" that repealing the law would be "the right thing to do."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates also supported the change, but asked for a year to allow the military to review how to proceed with a repeal.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress want to see the law changed, perhaps as soon as the next Defense Department authorization bill.

Two notable architects of the original DADT policy--retired Gens. Colin Powell and John Shalikashvili--also now support a repeal.

“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” Powell said in a statement following Mullen's testimony. “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”

Shaliksashvili penned an op-ed for the NY Times announcing his shift in position.

"I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces," he wrote. "Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.

Last November, shortly after President Obama was elected, over 100 retired military leaders signed a statement supporting a change in the law.