President Obama has indicated that he remains committed to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell [DADT] - the military’s policy that bars homosexuals from serving openly. When asked about addressing DADT in March, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said “lets push that one down the road a little bit”.
Retired General Jim Jones, The President’s National Security Advisor told him recently “not to add another controversy to his already full plate”. When asked by George Stephanopolous, host of ABC’s This Week, if the policy would be overturned, General Jones replied, “I don’t know”.
While DADT cannot be repealed without Congressional action, President Obama has the authority to suspend enforcement of the policy.
Supporters of the discriminatory DADT often argue that repealing it would weaken the military and fragment unit cohesion. However, a bipartisan study commissioned by the Palm Center at the University of California last year found that “the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win”.
According to a recent poll nearly two-thirds of the American Public disagreed with the argument that “allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military would be divisive for the troops and hurt their ability to fight effectively.”
Source: The Progress Report, May 12, 2009