BY Christopher Mangum
October 26 2009 2:40 PM ET
The secretary of the Army, John McHugh, indicated this weekend that
the Army is prepared to lift the ban on openly gay service members if
President Obama and Congress decide to end the "don't ask, don't tell"
McHugh, formerly a Republican congressman from the 23rd
district of New York, is the highest official inside the Pentagon to
have publicly expressed such support, according to Reuters.
When asked if lifting the ban on openly gay individuals would disrupt the military, as predicted by those who oppose repeal, McHugh said there is no reason to think the system would face serious disorder.
“Anytime you have a broad-based policy change, there are challenges to that. The Army has a big history of taking on similar issues, [with] predictions of doom and gloom that did not play out,” McHugh told the Army Times on Sunday.
McHugh also suggested in the interview that DADT might be lifted in stages, with gays allowed into some occupations or units, but barred from others.
McHugh, who as the secretary of the Army is responsible for advising Obama as well as the secretary of Defense on the capabilities and requirements of the Army, is still unsure how the issue of DADT will play out.