The newest member of the U.S. Senate
says he'll study a Pentagon report on repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell” before deciding on the issue.
Republican Mark Kirk, who'll serve the
remaining weeks of President Barack Obama's unexpired term, was sworn
in on Monday. Democratic Senator Roland Burris was appointed to the
seat after Obama became president but didn't run for the post.
Kirk's full term begins in January.
The long-awaited report on how the
military might proceed if Congress decides to repeal the 1993 law
that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly was released on
of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, endorsed the report's findings. The
Pentagon concluded that a majority of troops are okay with lifting
“Senator Kirk will read every page of
the DoD/Joint Chiefs of Staff report and will seek a meeting with the
Chief of Naval Operations to discuss his findings before making a
decision on the issue,” Lance Trover, Kirk's chief of staff, said
in a statement.
As a representative, Kirk, a Navy
reserve officer, voted against a measure that would repeal the law
that has ended the military careers of over 13,000 service members.
A Senate committee will begin two days'
worth of hearings on the Pentagon report on Thursday.