Congress is investigating the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the first time in the rule’s 15-year life. Critics of the famously troubled compromise would like to take advantage of a troop-starved military to scrap the policy, but the opposition argues that openly gay soldiers would frighten away new recruits.

Los Angeles Times:

Democratic lawmakers called the subcommittee hearing a long-overdue session to begin the process of dismantling the policy. Legislation to do so was initially introduced in 2005, but the Republican control of Congress at the time ensured it would fail. The bill was reintroduced last year.

“We have figured out how to deal with racial integration and gender discrimination,” said Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Alamo), the bill’s sponsor. “This is the last frontier.”

[…] During Wednesday’s hearing, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, which opposes repeal of the policy, said that allowing gays to serve openly would drive away more individuals who don’t want to serve with gays than the number of service members discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

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