Legislation to be introduced by
California Representative Duncan D. Hunter, a Republican, would
almost certainly block repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” if
The last ditch attempt to keep in place
the 1993 law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly is
expected to be introduced as early as Tuesday evening, The
approved repeal of the law during its lame-duck session in December.
As approved, the military would
implement repeal of the law 60 days after President Barack Obama,
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen – the
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – certify that the military
is ready for the change.
Hunter's bill would require the four
service chiefs to also sign off on repeal of the policy.
Marine Corps Commandant General James
Amos has been the most vocal of the service chiefs to oppose repeal,
but Air Force and Army chiefs have also expressed concerns over
lifting the policy.
Amos suggested that soldiers might die
if Congress repeals “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”
“Mistakes and inattention or
distractions cost Marines lives,” he told the Pentagon's Stars
and Stripes. “That's the currency of this fight.”
“I take that very, very seriously,”
Amos added. “I don't want to lose any Marines to that distraction.
I don't want to have any Marines that I'm visiting at Bethesda
[National Naval Medical Center, in Maryland] with no legs be the
results of any type of distraction.”
An aide to Hunter said the bill puts
the emphasis on combat troops.
“When Congress heard from the
military chiefs, it was the leaders of the Army and Marine Corps who
had the strongest concerns – the services that are most engaged in
war right now.”
The unnamed aide added that the bill
has more than 15 Republican co-sponsors.