Rep. Wilson asks for delay in allowing gays to serve openly in the military
Fri, 16 Sep 2011 17:00:52 GMT —
COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Two top Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee are asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to delay the new policy allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
Rep. Joe Wilson, and Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, the committee's chairman, sent a letter this week to Panetta complaining that the policies and regulations for implementing the change are not finalized and have not been provided to the panel. McKeon and Wilson asked Panetta to delay the policy slated to go into effect on Tuesday.
Congress voted to lift the 17-year-old ban, often refered to as "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) last December. President Barack Obama certified in July that repeal would not harm the military's ability to fight.Read more Pentagon study: Gays could serve with no harm Log Cabin Republicans seek permanent ban on Don't Ask Don't Tel Pentagon: Don't Ask Don't Tell policy repealed Friday Chaplains: Troops may fear sharing beliefs on gays House panel OKs defense bill, delays gay service
Army Gen. Carter Ham, who co-directed a Pentagon study on ending the ban, said Wednesday repeal is likely to prove "pretty inconsequential."
The repeal of DADT was signed by President Obama 9 months ago, and since has been subject to review by the Department of Defense to certify that it would not negatively impact the readiness of the Military.
Dan Woods, the attorney for the Log Cabin Republicans, says that not only should the policy be reversed, but that it should also be ruled unconstitutional.
"The repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' doesn't say anything about the future," Woods said. "It doesn't (explicitly) say homosexuals can serve. A new Congress or new president could come back and reinstitute it. We need our case to survive so there is a constraint on the government to prevent it from doing this again."
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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)