Friday, January 29, 2010
In his first State of the Union Address on Wednesday, President Obama called for the repeal of the viciously homophobic, Clinton-era military policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ comes news that the Pentagon will unveil steps next week detailing how the military will lay ground for the anticipated repeal.
Former President Bill Clinton signed the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy into law in 1993 allegedly as a compromise measure, although since leaving office, Clinton said signing the law was one of his biggest regrets. The policy permits gays and lesbians to serve in uniform as long they hide their sexual orientation. To date, more than 13,000 gay and lesbian soldiers have been summarily kicked out of the military under the policy, costing people their careers and the Pentagon tens-of-millions of dollars.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from George W. Bush's administration and Admiral Mike Mullen, will present an “implementation plan” to U.S. lawmakers next Tuesday, detailing measures that the Pentagon will take internally before the White House and the Congress move to change the law.
As with any military and government policy change, the devil is in the details and this Blog will be analyzing and reporting the Pentagon’s plan with great scrutiny. A few question I have is, once ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is repealed, will gay and lesbian military members who were discharged under the policy be allowed back in, and what about survivor benefits for partners of soldiers killed in the line of duty?