Sunday, October 4, 2009

Senate Leader Seeks Answers on Military's Gay Ban

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to hear from the Obama administration on how to overturn the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military.

The Democratic-led Congress is considering repealing the 1993 law but isn't expected to act on the issue until early next year.

In the meantime, the Nevada Democrat is asking President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to share their views and recommendations on the controversial policy.

In Sept. 24 letters to Obama and Gates, Reid also asked for a review of the cases of two U.S. officers who were discharged from the military because of their sexuality.

"At a time when we are fighting two wars, I do not believe we can afford to discharge any qualified individual who is willing to serve our country," Reid wrote in identical letters to Obama and Gates that were obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

Obama signaled during last year's election campaign that he supported repealing the law. But to the chagrin of his gay-rights supporters, he has made no move to do so since taking office in January. The White House has said it will not stop the military from dismissing gays and lesbians who acknowledge their sexuality."

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