Delaware Sen. Chris Coons (D) is voicing his support for repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Coons, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, attended Thursday’s hearing headed by the nation’s top two defense officials, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“The message today from Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen was compelling and clear: ending the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy won’t hurt military readiness or cohesion,” Coons said.
A Pentagon study has determined that overturning the 1993 law that prohibits gays in uniform from acknowledging their sexual orientation might cause some disruption at first but would not create any widespread or long-lasting problems.
Arizona Sen. John McCain called the study flawed and said letting gays serve openly would be dangerous in a time of war.
President Barack Obama has called on Congress to overturn the ban. Democrats have promised a repeal vote this month, although its chances of passing this year are considered dim.
Coons says the men and women in uniform are ready for the repeal of the policy.
“I couldn’t agree with them more,” Coons said. “The Senate is at a critical moment and must decide whether to continue to actively discriminate against a segment of Americans.”