Saying a compromise reached Monday by
Democratic leaders and the White House was not “ideal,” Defense
Secretary Robert Gates has reluctantly agreed to go along with a deal
to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay
troops from serving openly.
The proposed deal calls for “Don't
Ask” repeal to become final after the Defense Department has
completed its study on how to integrate openly gay troops in the
military. Gates and White House officials had urged Congress to
delay repeal of the policy until after the Pentagon has completed its
study at the end of the year.
the compromise agreed to Monday by the White House, repeal would
not take effect until after the president, Gates and Admiral Mike
Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, certify that the new
policy is consistent with standards of military readiness, military
effectiveness, unit cohesion, military recruiting and retention.
Gates “continues to believe that
ideally the [Defense Department] review should be completed before
there is any legislation to repeal” of the gay ban, the Pentagon
said in a statement.
But “with Congress having indicated
that is not possible, the secretary can accept the language in the
Both sides of Congress
are expected to take up key votes on repeal this week.