The Senate must put our nation on the right side of history and repeal 'Don't ask, don't tell' (Rep. Jared Polis)

When the House debated and voted on this issue early this summer, there were members on both sides of the aisle that weren't ready to support this repeal. They wanted to see an extensive report by the military that was scheduled to come out Dec. 1. Well, the report has come out and it unequivocally stated that this change in policy does not represent a threat to the security of this country. Any and all opposition to the repeal has manifested in vague, unsubstantiated worry. No one has presented a single concrete example as to how exactly the presence of openly serving gays will distract or disrupt unit cohesion.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of Defense have been very clear that they want to see this policy legislatively repealed. Why? Because repeal of this policy is inevitable. It’s a question of when not if. There are already several court orders in various stages of appeal. The military feels that repeal through the legislative process is better for military readiness than running the risk of having an instant court order “flip the off switch,” which would disrupt the regular military planning process. The sooner we act the better. Despite any differences in opinion on when to repeal DADT, it is clear that leaving it up to the courts is the wrong way to go about it. This is not an issue that will be brushed away nor will its resolution wait patiently for a convenient time.

In 1993 the passage of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was a political process, not a military one. And once again — seventeen years later — politics is to blame, as all that stands between us and repeal is the Senate. It is now up to the Senate to put our nation on the right side of history and finally allow our military act in the best interest of military readiness, protection of our country and our men and women in uniform.


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