HOUSE IGNORES SERVICE CHIEFS, VOTES TO REPEAL DONT ASK DONT TELL
Service chiefs: Wait on repeal of gay ban
By Rick Maze - Staff writer to the Army Times reports
In a break with Defense Secretary Robert Gates over lifting the ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the military, the four-star service chiefs have told Congress that they oppose a compromise to vote now on a repeal provision that would not take effect until some time in the future.
Gates said the White House-supported compromise was not ideal, but was acceptable to him, according to his spokesman Geoff Morrell.
But in separate letters to Congress, the service chiefs said they don't like this idea at all.
The letters come on the eve of historic votes on the House floor and in the Senate Armed Services Committee to reverse a 1993 law that bars openly gay people from serving in the military. While the outcome is unclear, supporters of repeal announced Wednesday that they had the 15 votes needed in the Senate Armed Services Committee to get a repeal amendment attached to the 2011 defense authorization bill.
One of service chiefs' biggest concerns is what troops and their families might think about Congress voting to change the law before the Pentagon finishes an ongoing, comprehensive review of the potential effects of repeal, to include asking troops and their families what they think, according to the letters.
Nevertheless, the "Repeal Deal" was Rammed Through The House 234-194
On Thursday, May 27, a combination of liberal and misguided legislators exploited or fell for a contrived "Repeal Deal" that began the process of eliminating the 1993 law regarding gays in the military while denying that result and the price that would be paid. This abnegation of congressional authority occurred despite initially strong letters of opposition from the four military service chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
Disregarding the still-unheard views of active-duty personnel worldwide, an impressive array of veterans and civilian groups, and the professional advice of 1,167 retired Flag & General Officers for the Military, the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee voted for an amendment to the 2011 Defense Authorization bill that repeals the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military, Section 654, Title 10, usually mislabeled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).
The House vote was 234-194, with five Republicans defying their
party's National Platform by voting for Pennsylvania Democrat
Patrick Murphy's amendment for gays in the military. According to
Connie Hair of Human Events, the unfaithful five included
Libertarian Ron Paul (TX), Joseph Cao (LA), Charles Djou (HI),
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), and Judy Biggert (IL). Twenty-six
Democrats, including HASC Chairman Ike Skelton (MO), senior HASC
member Gene Taylor (MS), and the newly-elected Congressman Mark
Critz (PA) voted "no" on the amendment.