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Obama to overturn military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy on gays

Washington, Thu, 15 Jan 2009 ANI
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Washington, Jan.15 (ANI): US President-elect Barack Obama has said that he will allow gays to serve openly in the military by overturning the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

 

According to incoming White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the Obama transition team declined to elaborate on that one-word answer when asked by FOX News on Wednesday about a timetable for repealing the policy, which was enacted by former president Bill Clinton after a protracted public debate.

 

Obama officials also would not explain which lawmakers or Pentagon officials would attempt to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

 

Clinton, who initially sought to overturn the longstanding ban on gays in the military, ended up enacting the "don't ask, don't tell" policy as a compromise that made it illegal for commanders to ask about the sexual orientation of service members, who were also barred from announcing they were homosexual.

 

Clinton is widely viewed as having stumbled during his first days in office by getting caught up in the raging controversy, which detracted from the rest of his agenda. It is not yet clear whether Obama would face a similar debacle.

 

The gay community is eager for a quick repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," but fears it could be months before the new administration reaches a consensus with lawmakers and the military.

 

Others think Obama could do it quickly, but is leery of the kind of fallout Bill Clinton faced when he tackled the divisive issue. (ANI)

 

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