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Gates: DADT Repeal Could Take Months

Gates: DADT Repeal Could Take Months

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Defense secretary Robert Gates told troops in a taped message Friday that he expects it will take months for Congress to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." And even then, he said, the military will have to give its final approval, which it won't do until after a comprehensive review that includes troop input, Reuters reports.

"Every man and woman in uniform is a vitally important part of this review," Gates said. "We need to hear from you and your families so that we can make these judgments in the most informed and effective manner. ... So please let us know how to do this right."

Gates's address came a day after the House of Representatives voted to repeal the antigay military policy, but the bill now must pass the Senate, where Republicans have suggested they'll try to block repeal.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, is a proponent of repeal but acknowledges that the military is divided on the issue. "I've seen resistance. But I've also seen support," he told National Public Radio. "I have a great deal of confidence in our forces and I think at some point in time, we'll be ready to do it."

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