Military Steps Up Talks on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal

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Mullen Photo: Essam Al-SudaniAFP/Getty Images

Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called a meeting last week with the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines to discuss the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell." The group debated timing of any such move, the hurdles before it, and the stress it would place on the armed forces. According to the Times, a one-page memo was drafted for the meeting that indicated that the repeal may not be soon, but that momentum was in its favor. "Every indicator of opinion over the past 16 years shows movement toward nondiscrimination based on orientation," the memo read. "In time the law will change."

Specific hurdles to a swift repeal were discussed:

Despite the uncertainty of timing, another military official said that the Department of Defense was beginning to look at the practical implications of a repeal — for example, whether it would be necessary to change shower facilities and locker rooms because of privacy concerns, whether to ban public displays of affection on military bases and what to do about troops who are stationed or make port calls in nations that outlaw homosexuality.


The Times did not report the end results of the meeting among the military chiefs, or whether a conclusion was reached. But a source told them that as of now, "not all their views are the same."

Pentagon Steps Up Talks on Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ [NYT]