The Department of Defense announced Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has accepted the proposed amendment that would overturn the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that restricts gay men and women from serving in the military.
However, according to a statement released today by Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, Gate’s only request is that Congress wait to repeal the law until a review to asses its full impact is completed, which is expected to be Dec. 1.
“Secretary Gates continues to believe that, ideally, the [Defense Department] review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ law,” said Morrell. “With Congress having indicated that this is not possible, the secretary can accept the language in the proposed amendment.”
Although the policy will remain in effect until the review is complete, Congress has expressed it will move forward immediately and vote on the issue this week.
Office of Management and Budget Director Peter R. Orszag addressed the Obama administration’s acceptance of the new proposal and the full completion of its review.
“Such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions,” Orszag said. “The administration therefore supports the proposed amendment.”
The administration also supports the completion of the review, but is supporting Congress’ decision to move forward with the repeal.