Ben Nelson: 'Premature' to say whether 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy should end

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said it's too early to tell whether the military's ban on gay and lesbian service members should be lifted.

Nelson, a centrist senator whose vote may be key to passing legislation that abolishes the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, said it's "premature" to say whether that policy should be changed.

Nelson told the conservative news site CNSNews.com that he's waiting for a report from military leaders and the Defense Department before making up his mind.

"It's a question of what impact it would have on readiness, retention and recruitment," Nelson said. "And until we have that report to look at, it's premature to make any decision, in my opinion, about how, what to apply to the 'Don't ask, don't tell' rule we have in place today."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have come out in support of changing current policy, which forces discharges from service for openly gay or lesbian members of the military.

In the Senate, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is leading a legislative charge to get rid of the policy. His bill has garnered 13 Democratic co-sponsors.


Watch a video of CNSNews's interview with Nelson below:

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