It now appears most of the forward motion in the Obama Administration on scaling back Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell comes from appointees with Republican backgrounds. Last week, we reported that the only Bush appointee in the Obama cabinet, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, had approved new rules making it harder to discharge gays from the military.
The secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, said Wednesday that he was effectively ignoring the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law because he had no intention of pursuing discharges of active-duty service members who have recently told him that they are gay.
Mr. McHugh, the Army’s civilian leader and a former Republican congressman from upstate New York, said that he had initiated the conversations with service members in recent months as part of the Pentagon’s review of how best to carry out a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, which requires that gay service members keep their sexual orientation secret or face discharge.
Seems if Obama wants to get something done, he turns to a Republican.
While this is a step in the right direction, it appears only to apply to conversations openly gay soldiers have with the Army Secretary. Still, that he will allow such exchanges indicates he’s willing to listen to such service members, a necessary step toward understanding the concerns and learning how best to allow their service while continuing to maintain the army’s effectiveness.
The New York Times headline, Secretary of the Army Says He Will Not Pursue ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Discharges, does seem to miss the mark, not accurately summarizing the article’s content.