Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has
ordered an early release of a Pentagon report on repeal of “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell,” the 17-year-old law that bans gay and bisexual
troops from serving openly.
Officials announced they'll release the
long-awaited report on November 30, one day earlier than planned.
The Senate's Democratic leadership has
pledged to vote on a defense bill that includes language that would
repeal the law that has ended the military careers of over 13,000
service members after the Thanksgiving break.
Senators consider the report's findings
crucial and had urged Gates for an early release so that the Senate
Armed Services Committee could hold hearings on it prior to a floor
“Secretary Gates is pushing all
involved in the Comprehensive Review Working Group's report to have
it ready for public release on Nov. 30 in order to accommodate the
desire of the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings as
soon as possible,” Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said in a
The development should be good news to
beleaguered repeal backers who are racing to end the law before
Republicans take over the House and increase their numbers in the
Senate in January. Senate Republicans, led by Arizona Senator John
a similar effort in September. Several
GOP senators have suggested they're leaning in favor of voting for
report is expected to conclude that a majority of service members are
okay with serving and living alongside openly gay troops,
according to Washington Post sources.
About 40 percent of Marines object to
repeal and Marine Corps leaders have publicly supported the policy.
On Sunday, Joint
Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen said he was confident
that the Marines will follow orders if Congress decides to repeal
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”