Pentagon: No Plans To Repeal "Don't Ask"
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell today said there are no plans to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibits openly gay troops from serving in the military.
President Obama vowed to repeal the controversial 1993 policy during the campaign, but according to Morrell, there have not been serious discussions between the White House and the military about doing so.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen are "aware of where the president wants to go on this issue, but I don't think that there is any sense of any immediate developments in the offing on efforts to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,'" Morrell said.
Morrell indicated that the White House has not formally sent a request to Congress to abandon the policy. He said there have only been "initial conversations in their early stages" about the situation.
A week ago, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president wants "don't ask, don't tell" abandoned but would not intervene to keep gay servicemembers from being discharged, something that happened to an Arabic linguist earlier this month.
Gibbs insisted that legislation was required to change the policy, despite the fact that the president is commander in chief. He said changing it will "require more than the snapping of one's fingers."
Asked if there were surveys going on to see how the military community feels about the change, Morrell, the Pentagon spokesman, said no.
"The secretary has not asked his service chiefs, his service secretaries, his combatant commanders, anything of that sort to, sort of, start to -- to do, you know, polling on that matter," he said.
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