DADT Day 2 Better Than Expected

BY Kerry Eleveld

December 03 2010 2:15 PM ET

A number of pro-repeal
senators emphasized the point that the combat units, whose members
expressed the most trepidation about repeal, also said they didn’t
believe they knew or had served with anyone who was gay.


“That
is to say, predictions of negative effects are higher among troops in
war-fighting units, but the actual experience  of troops in combat units
who have fought alongside gays is that their units were largely
unaffected,” Levin said, quoting from the working group report.


To reinforce the point, Democratic senators repeatedly referenced one anonymous quote from the report.


“We have a gay guy. He’s big, he’s mean, and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay,” one soldier said of a gay man who served in his unit.


All
said and done, pro-repeal advocates indicated their worst fears had
been averted and the collective testimony had been less negative and
perhaps even more positive than expected.


After the hearing concluded, Lieberman told The Advocate it was “a very encouraging day.”


“I
know there was a lot of feeling that the chiefs of the various services
were going to come in and say that they were unalterably opposed to
repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Lieberman said. “The fact is, every
one of them said they were for repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ — a few
of them would like not to have it happen now.”


Shortly after the
hearing, Sen. Scott Brown — a key Republican who sits on the committee
and joined Sen. John McCain’s filibuster of the defense bill in
September — pledged his support for repeal.


“I accept the findings
of the report and support repeal based on the [Defense] secretary’s
recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle
effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been
completed,” Brown said in a statement.















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