Although Congress has now voted to repeal the military’s controversial
“don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, it will be at least a few months before
the historic change takes effect. Once that potentially lengthy process is complete, Obama, Defense
Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen will
each have to certify that the repeal can move ahead without negatively
affecting unit cohesion and military readiness. Three active-duty service members recently contacted by CNN — all of
whom identified themselves as gay but who do not want to be identified
— expressed relief at the congressional decision to repeal “don’t ask,
don’t tell.” A Pentagon study released this month concluded that allowing openly gay
or lesbian troops to serve in the military would have little lasting
impact on the U.S. armed forces. Opposition to the change was much
higher in Army and Marine combat units than in the military as a whole.

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