With momentum building behind a re-thinking of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer is being cagey about his opinions. In his confirmation hearing for a second term as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen gave a non-answer:
Mullen repeated his previous position that “any change in the law would require sound policy revisions and leadership.”
“Like any significant overhaul of military personnel policy, we must carefully consider its impact on military readiness,” Mullen wrote in the prepared answers. “Whatever the decision, we will follow the law and remain focused on supporting our troops in — and preparing for — combat.”
At the hearing, the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), told reporters a hearing on repealing DADT would likely be scheduled for October. With support from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has been pushing for a repeal of the legislation, as has Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA). DADT bans the military from running “witch hunts” for LGBT people within its ranks, but requires the military to discharge LGBT servicemembers if they are outed.
Minnesota Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, James Oberstar and Tim Walz are all cosponsors of the Military Enhancement Readiness Act which would repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
(h/t the Washington Blade’s Bladewire)