The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he was taken aback by
recent comments made by the head of the Marine Corps denouncing the
pending repeal of the law barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the
"I was surprised by what he said and surprised he said it publicly," Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters in Australia, according to the Associated Press.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said this was the wrong time to lift the ban due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This is not a social thing," he said Saturday. "This is combat effectiveness."
Mullen and Defense secretary Robert Gates are both supportive of the law's repeal, a goal set by President Barack Obama in his January State of the Union Address. Despite progress in federal court cases, the Senate has yet to approve of the annual defense spending bill, which includes an amendment to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." Results of a Pentagon study addressing how to repeal the ban are due December 1.
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