President Obama is not ready to tackle
the military's ban on open gay service, National Security Adviser
James Jones told John King on CNN's State of the Union.
Democrats in the House, led by
Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy, have already introduced a
bill that would repeal the 1993 law that forbids gay and lesbian
service members from revealing their sexuality at the risk of losing
their jobs. A Senate version is rumored to be in the offing.
In a letter
addressed to the president last week, Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, urged the White House to move
quickly to end the law, also known as “don't ask, don't tell.”
“As Congress considers future
legislative action, we believe it would be helpful to hear your views
on the policy,” Reid wrote in a letter addressed to the president.
“I therefore request that you bring to Congress your
recommendations on DADT (don't ask, don't tell).”
Jones, however, said Sunday that the
time was not right.
“The president has an awful lot on
his desk,” Jones answered King, who asked, “Is it time now?”
“I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the
appropriate time. He has already signaled that to the Defense
Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do
to prepare, but at the right time, I'm sure the president will take
“No idea when the right time is?”
“Um, I don't think it's going to be –
it's not years, but I think it will be teed up appropriately,”
During the presidential campaign Obama
pledged to repeal the law but as president has refused to sign an
executive order that would end the discharges while repeal
legislation is being debated in Congress, saying he's looking for a
“durable” solution from Congress.
Approximately 13,000 gay and lesbian
service members have been drummed out of the military since the
policy was enacted in 1993.