Armed Services head won’t push to reinstate DADT if Romney wins

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said he doesn’t plan to try and reinstate “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), the former ban on gays serving openly in the military, if Republicans were to take the Senate and Mitt Romney won the White House in November.

McKeon and other Republicans were opposed to repealing DADT when the Democratic-controlled Congress passed it in 2010, but McKeon said Thursday that he didn’t see a reason to re-start the fight over it.

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“We fought that fight, and I think right now it’s more important to get the things that our warfighters need,” McKeon said at a breakfast roundtable with defense reporters, in response to a question about whether he would try to reinstate it under a Republican-controlled Congress and White House.

“That’s not something I personally would bring up — that doesn’t mean that others won’t,” McKeon added.

McKeon said that his priority in a Romney administration would be to stop sequestration and reversing some of the $487 billion in defense cuts that were enacted in last year’s Budget Control Act.

The repeal of DADT was instituted last fall, and this month the Pentagon is holding its first ever Gay Pride event.

In a video message announcing the event, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said: “Before the repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell,' you faithfully served your country with professionalism and courage. ... And now, after repeal, you can be proud of serving your country, and be proud of who you are when in uniform.”