Congress is considering repealing the 1993 “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy concerning gays openly serving in the military. Last year the military discharged 634 members who claimed their gay sexuality.
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has asked for President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to share their opinions on the policy. Obama mentioned repealing the law during last year’s election campaign, but gays across the nation are still waiting for him to take action.
“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 letters to Obama and Gates obtained by The Associated Press.
Congress is not expected to act on the repeal until the beginning of 2010.
The White House has said it will not stop the military from dismissing gays and lesbians who acknowledge their sexuality. The largest dismissal was in 2001 with 1,227 members discharged.
The House is considering legislation in repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” to also allow those discharged to rejoin the military. Those court hearings will most likely take place next year.
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— Kim Brown