USA — House Votes to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask,’ Gates Urges Senate Action

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)

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