Gays in the Military Expert Previews Tuesday’s Hearing
More details have emerged – and new questions have been raised – in advance of tommorrow’s expected announcement regarding the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on gays serving openly in the military.
Gay leaders say they expect top military officials to announce Tuesday that the Defense Department will cease the discharges of service members whose homosexuality is revealed by third parties or ex-lovers. The Pentagon is also expected to require all discharges under the ban to be approved by high-level officials.
Gays in the military expert Nathaniel Frank said these changes will make it easier to FULLY repeal the ban.
Frank: “This policy has failed at the most basic level to achieve what its goal was, which was to shield servicemembers from the knowledge of who’s gay. This would be one more nail in that coffin, in that it would be saying even more loudly ‘There are gays serving, they are serving openly you know about them, why are we all playing pretend?'”
But in order to fully repeal the ban, the Administration will need the help of Congress – and that road got a little rockier this month with the election of Republican Scott Brown to replace the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy. In an ABC News interview aired Sunday, Brown told Barbara Walters he couldn’t say where he stands on the issue.
“I’d like to hear from the generals in the field — in the field — the people that actually work with these soldiers to make sure that, you know, the social change is not going to disrupt our ability to finish the job and complete the wars.
But Senator, your own view.
That’s my view.
So you can’t say whether you’re for or against it?
No. I’m going to wait to speak to the generals on the ground.”
The New York Times reports Tuesday’s meeting will be the first congressional hearing on gays in the military in 17 years.