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Architect of DADT
Says It's Time to Revisit Policy

Architect of DADT
Says It's Time to Revisit Policy

Sam_nunn

Former Georgia senator Sam Nunn, who was one of the primary lawmakers involved in the passage of the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, on Tuesday called on the government to review the law.

Former Georgia senator Sam Nunn, who was one of the primary lawmakers involved in the passage of the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, on Tuesday called on the government to review the law.

"I think [when] 15 years go by on any personnel policy, it's appropriate to take another look at it -- see how it's working, ask the hard questions, hear from the military. Start with a Pentagon study," Nunn said after an Atlanta seminar on national security, according to TheAtlanta Journal Constitution.

Nunn would not state explicitly whether he supports ending the policy.

"I'm not advocating anything, except I'm saying the policy was the right policy for the right time, and times change. It's appropriate to take another look," Nunn said to reporters.

Though some LGBT activists and strategists see Nunn's statements as significant, many also say he did not go far enough. "If you look at what he said, he didn't really say anything," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an organization that lobbies for repeal of the "don't ask" policy. "He never called for Congress to change the federal statute. He didn't say he favored repealing 'don't ask, don't tell.' Not many people have an opportunity to right a wrong 15 years later. I find it all in all to be very disappointing."

Sarvis also told The Advocate that Nunn's move may be an indication that he's positioning himself for a high-level post in a Barack Obama administration. "You can't avoid the speculation that it's an attempt to become now aligned with Senator Obama's position on 'don't ask, don't tell.' If former senator Nunn has any ambition of entertaining the possibility of being in an Obama administration, he knows he has to move away from his former position." Senator Obama has clearly stated his support for repealing the policy.

"Don't ask, don't tell" is widely seen by gays as infringing on their right to free expression. As reported in the JournalConstitution, Nunn added, "People don't understand that that was the beginning point. We basically made it possible for people to serve honorably in the military without lying on the application." (The Advocate)

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