Sen. Carl Levin called for the repeal on the military's ban from openly gay and lesbian service members in an op-ed on Politico.
Levin, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said this is the right time to repeal the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" law.
"We should end this policy because ending it will contribute to our military's effectiveness," he wrote. "To take just one example: Dozens of Arabic and Farsi linguists have been forced out of the military under 'don't ask, don't tell' at a time when our need to understand those languages has never been greater. Thousands of troops -- 13,500 by one estimate -- have been forced to leave the military under the current policy. Certainly that number includes many who could help the military complete its difficult and dangerous missions."