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White House Won't End Dismissals Of Gay Service Members

(AP)
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs today indicated that President Obama will not intervene to keep gay servicemembers from being dismissed from the military, despite his vow to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Gibbs said "the policy isn't working for our national interests," but added that ending it will "require more than the snapping of one's fingers."

"To get fundamental reform in this instance requires a legislative vehicle," Gibbs said. "The president made a promise to change this policy; he will work with the Joints Chiefs of Staff, the administration and with Congress to ensure that we have a policy that works for our national interests."

Noted a reporter at the briefing: "He is the Commander-in-Chief. I mean, if the president and the Secretary of Defense can bring about a new leadership in Afghanistan, replace the commanding general there, couldn't the president and the secretary of defense delay any more people getting fired under 'don't ask, don't tell'?"

Responded Gibbs: "Well, there have been discussions about the best way to move forward, and the only sustainable way to do that is through -- sustainable and durable way -- is through legislation, which the president has promised and has continued to work for."

Last week, the Army dismissed an Arabic linguist for revealing that he is gay.