Senate Panel to Review "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

(AP)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), at left, has announced, in a press release, that the Senate Armed Service Committee will hold a hearing this fall on the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Signed into law by former President Clinton, the policy forbids openly gay and lesbian personnel from serving in the military. According to the press release, an estimated 13,000 service members have been removed from duty since 1993 based on their sexual orientation.

According to a report from the Center for American Progress, 265 people have been discharged since President Obama took office.

"This policy is wrong for our national security and wrong for the moral foundation upon which our country was founded,'" Gillibrand said. "'Don't ask, don't Tell' is an unfair, outdated measure that violates the civil rights of some of our bravest, most heroic men and women. By repealing this policy, we will increase America's strength - both militarily and morally."

Gillibrand also said such measures are costly, saying that it takes $95.1 million to replace gay personnel with new recruits.

The debate over "don't ask, don't tell" has been heating up over the years, especially with two wars underway for American troops. President Obama has promised to work with the military on repealing the policy, but many liberal and gay rights activists have become impatient that his administration has failed to act so far.

A CBS News poll taken earlier this year found that 62 percent of Americans support gays and lesbians opening serving in the military.
  • Anna Aulova

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