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Gay Rights Groups React to Leaked Pentagon Report

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A Pentagon study group has reportedly found that lifting the controversial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy would only pose a “minimal” risk to ongoing war efforts.

The Washington Post reports that more than 70 percent of respondents to a summer survey of U.S. troops said the effects of repealing the 17-year-old ban would be “positive, mixed, or nonexistent.” The Post based its report on two unnamed sources familiar with a draft of the Pentagon report created to analyze the effects of lifting the policy.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen each reportedly received copies of the draft last week. Like President Obama, both have said that the law should be overturned.

For Servicemembers United’s Jarrod Chlapowski, the early findings just reaffirm what his group has been saying all along.

CHLAPOWSKI: “You know, we knew the review itself was looking into how to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and not WHETHER to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ And this study definitely shows that the ‘whether’ is a foregone conclusion, as we’ve believed that in the long run.”

But the report also found that about 40 percent of Marines were concerned about lifting the ban. In fact, just last weekend, that branch’s new commandant said that ending the policy during wartime would be risky.

A Pentagon source told the Washington Post that should the ban be overturned, any objections by troops would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

The report also says that gay troops do NOT want to receive a special classification. For Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s director Aubrey Sarvis, any suggestions otherwise would be offensive.

A former servicemember himself, Sarvis says receiving news of the report on Veteran’s Day is all the more rewarding.

SARVIS: “It’s a wonderful gift, and I wish it had come sooner. But, we will take it today and we will embrace it!”

The Post says the report is now set to be delivered to President Obama on December 1st.

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Written by Xorje Olivares

November 11, 2010 at 4:57 PM

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