Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that he would prefer that
Congress delay repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 that
forbids gay troops from revealing their sexuality.
Mullen made his comments after a key
Senate panel and the House voted to amend next year's defense budget
to include repeal language. The House on Friday approved the defense
bill which included the repeal amendment.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday,
Mullen said he believed a Pentagon implementation study due in
December should be completed before repeal takes place.
“Personally, I believe the law should
change,” he said. “But I also said this review is critically
important. I would like the legislation to wait until we've
completed the review so we can look at how to implement it.”
Before Congress took its first votes on
repeal Thursday, Mullen told about 500 servicemembers at a town hall
session at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado that he was
comfortable with the proposed legislation, which includes a
compromise that delays repeal until after the Defense Department has
completed its study and President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert
Gates and Mullen have jointly checked off on the new policy and its
“The language in there right now
preserves my prerogative – and I believe, my responsibility – to
give the best military advice,” Mullen said Wednesday.
“That trigger is to certify whether
we should move ahead with that change, even if the law were to repeal
it,” he told reporters following the session.
The full Senate is expected to vote on
the defense bill in mid-summer. Republicans, led by Arizona Senator
John McCain, say they'll block repeal of the gay ban, including
filibustering the defense bill.