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Some DADT Discharges to Be Halted Soon?


The New York Times on Monday delivers an article about some of the forces converging around the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the past year and reports that the Defense Department will announce that it is suspending some discharges of gay military members during the debate over the policy.

According to the Times, at Congress's hearing on the policy on Tuesday, Defense secretary Robert Gates will announce a halt in discharges of service members whose sexual orientation is revealed by third parties or jilted partners.

"On Tuesday, in the first Congressional hearing on the issue in 17 years, Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen will unveil the Pentagon's initial plans for carrying out a repeal, which requires an act of Congress," reports the Times. "Gay rights leaders say they expect Mr. Gates to announce in the interim that the Defense Department will not take action to discharge service members whose sexual orientation is revealed by third parties or jilted partners, one of the most onerous aspects of the law. Pentagon officials had no comment."

The article also states that President Obama, who pledged to repeal the policy during his presidential campaign, delayed acting on repeal in 2009 because of two wars and his desire not to distract from health care reform. He decided to make repeal a priority in 2010.

"At the White House, Mr. Obama decided at a meeting shortly before Christmas to use his State of the Union address to reaffirm his support for repealing 'don't ask, don't tell,'" reports the Times. "A White House official said that Mr. Obama's call for repeal stayed through six drafts of the speech, despite reports of internal battles over how far he should go."

Republicans already are questioning the push to repeal the policy at this time.

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Julie Bolcer