October 23rd, 2009
03:54 PM ET
4 years ago

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' hearing in November

 Carl Levin's spokeswoman confirmed the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing next month on the controversial 'don't ask, don't tell' policy.
Carl Levin's spokeswoman confirmed the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing next month on the controversial 'don't ask, don't tell' policy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing next month on the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, committee chairman Carl Levin's spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

The precise date for the November hearing hasn't been set yet, said Levin spokeswoman Tara Andringa.

The Michigan senator, who supports ending that policy, made the announcement after a Friday event marking the passage of a bill that extends hate crimes protection to victims assaulted because of their sexual orientation. "My hope is that we are going to find a way to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell," Levin said, according to AFP. The Armed Services Committee had previously announced it would debate the policy sometime this fall.

President Obama has faced criticism from the gay community for not moving forward quickly to repeal the policy. Earlier this month, at a fundraiser for a gay rights organization, he pledged to end the practice of discharging members of the military because of their sexual orientation, but did not give a timeline for when that might happen.


"We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country," Obama told the Human Rights Campaign on October 11. "I'm working with the Pentagon, its leadership and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy, legislation that has been introduced in the House to make this happen


Filed under: Carl Levin
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. simp

    Look I have no problem with anybody's sexual preference, however for the gay community to start bickering about stuff like this is trivial. This President has sooooooo much more to worry about right now and I think they could cut him some slack. AGAIN, I'm not saying that their rights are trivial, I just think it could wait a minute.

    October 23, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Kevin

    I am a Gay Republican who has not served in uniform. I agree with the dissolution of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." At the time of the Clinton administration it was a necessary compromise. It wasn't good, but it was the best that Clinton was able to achieve. He tried and must be given credit for that. The fact that it has been a failure is not due to him or the Republican Congress he was up against. The failure is due to the institutional memory of the military itself. There is a lot of prejudice that carries over from generation to generation and that is something that must be dealt with respectfully. Reversing this policy is not a quick policy as the liberal activists would like for you to believe. It's written in the law. Congress is the only body able to change the law. The president must enforce the laws of the lands, including all of the ones he disagrees with. Congress has to have the support of their constituents, the military leaders, and the White House to even begin to consider changing this law. Lets face it, they have to think about getting re-elected as well. This can't move at a lightning fast paced. It isn't feasible. It will happen in time and mostly likely during Obama's administration. Be patient.

    October 23, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    The military policy on Gays has always been ambiguous and app;ied with much disparity.Don't ask Don't tell is just another way to apply the rule with disparity. End the discrimination and let them ALL serve openly, to many carreer personell have escaped bieng discharged because they were good at their jobs and need, the law on gays has primarily been reserved for junior personell only.

    October 23, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    My late grandmother (1906-1996), who worked as a "Rosie the Riveter" in the Bremerton, Washington shipyards during World War II, once told me that while she didn't "understand" homosexuality, she didn't see any problem with gays serving in the military.

    Her attitude was, "If they want to risk their lives defending our country, that's good enough for me – we should let them."

    Hear, hear Grandma!!!

    October 23, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Tram

    The world is changing. Views are changing. At the time, we needed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Today, we should have moved past that as a society. A person's sexual orientation should make no difference when defending this country any more than one's religious affiliation, state of origin, favorite ice cream, favorite tv show, favorite car....

    We should be beyond the bigotry that forced us to have a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

    October 23, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. special kay

    About time we start representing all members of society.

    October 23, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Who put the twit in twitter? Sarah!

    I'm for anything that will make Dick Cheney's head explode.

    October 23, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. mabel floyd

    after watching the way holy matrimony is held holy by the family values congressmen, esp the c street crowd, i am amazed at the nerve of any of them to judge others.
    gays want the right to screw up or hold holy the vows of matrimony the way the rest of us do-and they should have it.
    the state should issue the civil lic to all couples wishing to marry. the churches should be able to set the rules for marriage rites in their own church.

    October 23, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I hope that this is over soon, and the militart supports the ending of this policy. We are losing people solely because of their sexual orientation. This is fool-hardy to kick people out that choose to serve. The skill sets that we lose is too great to justify keeping the policy in place.

    October 23, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. JT the concerned College Freshman from MO

    I believe that everyone should be treated equal no matter what they look like or who they are. Our founding fathers wanted everyone to be treated equally, example Exlamation Proclamtion, which called for the freedom of not just slaves, but everyone else. Personally, I believe that America has yet to see its finest moment and its finest generation. I believe that finest generation is my generation. The huge majoirty of people that are my age and a little bit older overwhelmingly support equality for everyone. Furthermore, we refuse to tolerate any greed, that means you Wall Street. The only way that we can truely solve the biggest of problems that we have right now is if we pull together as not just America, but Americans.

    October 23, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Gary P.

    I served aboard nuclear submarines, and I can assure you that if a crew member had come out of the closet, or even been strongly suspected, his life would have been in grave danger. That is simply the truth–the way it was.

    October 23, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It's about dam time.

    October 23, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    By the end of the YEAR – WATCH!!! A lot of BILLS will get passed in the White House and while all of the HATERS are still HATING on President Obama, you will COUNT the number of accomplishments he made and be AMAZED!!!

    October 23, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. JDawg

    I sure hope the military sticks to its values and upholds don't ask don't tell. The last thing the military needs is a bunch of queers running around imposing their lifestyle on everyone (like they tend to do at my civilian job). Being gay is a lifestyle choice (just like being a criminal etc). Bad lifestyle choices are not in the Bill of Rights! I am a 12 year military member (now in the National Guard). The only people who should be making decisions about who serves in the military are the people who actually wear the uniform.

    October 23, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Ray

    3 Cheers for "Think Again" s Grandma!!!

    October 23, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. brad

    Why is this an issue? It shouldn't. If a gay person want to enlist, they let them. Very honorable and we as a citizen of this country should be grateful. Let it go. Move on. Common sense is so lacking in this country.

    October 23, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Obama says no marriage for gays.....

    Why? Does he think we are less than human? That he is better than us? What if there was a law that no blacks could get married? What then? Obama is a phony and actually detests gays.

    October 23, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Pat F

    Who put theTwit in Twitter, you are just a SCREAM!

    Hello? Cheney's daughter is a lesbian!

    Shame on Karl Lenin – I mean Levin – for wasting time on this baloney that 99.999% of American could not care less about.

    His State, Michigan, has 15% unemployment, and THIS is what he is spending your time on? Unbelievable.

    October 23, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Ken from missouri

    If gay people acted like the rest of us they might get treated like the rest of us because people don't really want to know or hear about their sex life.

    October 23, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. cgillette369

    this haircut is "DON'T ASK DON'T TELL".

    don't ask where i got it if you find on don't tell.

    this is an example of why DC is called Hollywood for the HOMELY.

    October 23, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. seebofubar

    "Don't ask – Don't tell" could be adapted to be used by Democrats. That way you won't have to be embarased if someone finds out that you actually voted for Bozo.

    October 23, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. DT

    LOL the gay community amazes me. They always think of themselves only. Their is so much other stuff goin on thats way more important and the only thing they have to complain about is this crap cause Obama isnt "moving fast enough"...please. Also Im in the military now and people are sayin it needs to be repealed and they havent even served...it shouldnt be their call the military should vote on this matter once and for all. Sexual orientation is nobodys business and if you want to serve you keep your mouth shut and stay professional...thats just me.

    October 23, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. ambach

    If this comes into play, where they stop kicking people out of the military for being gay/lesbian - what about the people that were already kicked out? What will that do for them? They definitely will have something to say about it...

    October 23, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. DJ

    Yeah I agree, the gays need to realize their agenda is a wedge issue that the President just can't risk losing support over. Not even liberal stronghold CA wanted gay marriage. Don't ask don't tell seems to work as long as everyone just minds their own business and does their job.

    October 23, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Ron

    Good! It’s time to eliminate this archaic rule.
    Many countries have gay men and women, who openly
    serve in their countries military and their military don’t have issues with it.
    Welcome to the 21st Century. It’s time to put prejudices away and allow the men and woman who want to serve, the right to serve with out the fear of their own military and government.

    October 23, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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