As Hearings Close on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' GOP Senators Show Support for Repeal
(Washington, DC) – As the Senate Armed Services Committee concludes hearings on the Comprehensive Working Group report on implementation of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal, Log Cabin Republicans call upon the Senate to bring the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 to the floor for a vote.
"The clear message to come out of two days of testimony and the most comprehensive personnel study the Pentagon has ever conducted is that every branch of our military is ready, willing and able to implement repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. "There is no reason for delay in legislative action, particularly given the possibility of judicial intervention. Log Cabin's Republican allies are standing up to be on the right side of history. It is time for the entire Senate to vote to strike this failed and unconstitutional policy."
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) reiterated her longstanding support for repeal, saying, "as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I voted, last May, to include in the Defense Authorization bill language repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, subject to certification by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that there would not be a negative impact on combat effectiveness and military readiness. It is especially reassuring to learn from the Pentagon report that, after extensive interviews and feedback from service members, nearly 70 percent say that having a gay service member in their unit would have a 'positive, mixed, or no effect' on the unit's effectiveness."
Also, Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) said in a statement after a thorough questioning of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that, "I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don't Ask Don't Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary's recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed."
Log Cabin Republicans have maintained a three-front strategy against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' lobbying for repeal in Congress, consulting with the Department of Defense, and filing suit in federal court. The case went to trial in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.