WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2010 — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is pleased with today’s House of Representatives vote to repeal the law that bans gays from serving openly in the military, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said, and he hopes the Senate will follow suit before its current session ends.
The House voted 250–175 to repeal the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, and Senate action is required for the bill to go to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.
The president has advocated the law’s repeal, and Gates and other military leaders repeatedly have expressed a preference for legislative action – which they say would permit an orderly transition for the military – over having the law struck down by a court, requiring immediate compliance with the change and possibly creating different rules in different places.
“[The secretary] encourages the Senate to pass the legislation this session, enabling the Department of Defense to carefully and responsibly manage a change in this policy instead of risking an abrupt change resulting from a decision in the courts,” Morrell said.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)