One-hundred-and-four retired admirals and generals have signed a statement calling on the military to allow gay soldiers to serve openly. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has lost support since the Clinton administration originally negotiated the compromise, but Barack Obama will likely avoid resurrecting one of his predecessor’s biggest headaches.
Obama has publicly opposed the policy, but said he would seek change through consensus rather than command.
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“As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality,” the officers wrote.
While Obama has expressed support for repeal, he said during the presidential campaign that he would not do so on his own — an indication that he would tread carefully to prevent the issue from becoming a drag on his agenda. Obama said he would instead work with military leaders to build consensus on removing the ban on openly gay service members.