Comments by Joint Chiefs Nominee Signal Important Shift on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Republican Senator Presses Mullen on Harmful Law
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans welcome recent comments by Joint Chiefs Chairman nominee Admiral Michael Mullen that Congress should look at whether the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law should be changed.
During a Senate hearing yesterday, Republican Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) pressed Mullen on the growing concern that the loss of gay troops under the law is harming our nation's security in the global war on terror. Mullen said, "I really think it is for the American people to come forward, really through this body, to both debate that policy and make changes, if that's appropriate."
Mullen also noted that he would like Congress "to make its own decisions" about repealing the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members.
"This is a welcome change to the broken record of politicians saying that they are merely following military commanders on this issue," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "Admiral Mullen, our next Joint Chiefs Chairman, is encouraging Congress to take a look at the issue. That is a very welcome remark – and one that finally acknowledges the reality that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is not a policy but a law that only Congress can change."
"Log Cabin praises Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for bringing this issue to these hearings," said Sammon. "Senator Collins is a common sense Republican who understands that our top priority should be our military readiness and having the most qualified armed forces."
In her questioning, Collins said that she recently met with a retired admiral in Maine who "urged" her to press Mullen to re-examine the policy. The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246), a bill that would lift the ban on open service, now has 126 bi-partisan supporters in the U.S. House.