February 2nd, 2010
08:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Gates to unveil plan to abandon 'don't ask, don't tell'

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to unveil the Pentagon's plan for rolling back the controversial 'don't ask, don't tell' policy regarding gay and lesbian service members on Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to unveil the Pentagon's plan for rolling back the controversial 'don't ask, don't tell' policy regarding gay and lesbian service members on Tuesday.

Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to unveil the Pentagon's plan for rolling back the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gay and lesbian service members on Tuesday.

During last week's State of the Union address, President Obama made clear he wanted a change.

"This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," he said, to a healthy round of partisan applause.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff sat stone-faced as the president made the announcement and have been quiet on the matter since the State of the Union speech.

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Filed under: Robert Gates
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. gt

    drip.... drip... drip...drip....just another sad day for america,,, drip ,,, drip,, drip,,, how low will america go,,, drip drip,,drip,,,

    February 2, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. USN

    Gays are already in he military. Thus "dont ask dont tell" Just be a soldier ! But with this you create a special group . They will not be held to equal standards for fear of being labled and denied promotion . Everything a staight soldier will say or do will be watched and interpreted . The military will again be screwed.

    February 2, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Kim Nugent

    This will lead to many "straight" military members leaving voluntary military service. Will that require the draft to be reinstated?

    February 2, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Anonymous

    thank God

    February 2, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. T'SAH from Virginia

    If GAYS can vote and pay taxes – they should be able to serve in the military!!

    It would probably be TOUGH at first until someone GAY saves a whole platoon. As a result, a true story movie would be made of the event and at that time, people would realize that ALL MEN are created equal!!!

    Besides, what difference does it make? They were allowed to serve before as long as they did not TELL!!!!

    February 2, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. nardofree va.

    why does anyone, have to or need to know , who's gay?

    February 2, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. Mike

    The only ones who want gays in the military are people who have never served in the military. The Joint Chiefs obviously do not support this as was evidenced by their expressions at nobamas state of the union, which by the way he did not address. The state of the union is actually in a mess since nobama took office.

    February 2, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Silence Dogoode

    Yes, it is about time for President Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" to end. Anyone regarless of orientation, gender, religion or race should be allowed to serve their country...as long as they do not expect special privledges....

    February 2, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Disgruntled Progressive

    It's about time.

    February 2, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. Jane

    I'm glad I'm not in the military now. I do believe that gays have a right too serve in the military–the DOD should not pry into people's private lives and not discharge them. However this is going to create a nighmare of logistical and legal issues. You can now have 2 men or women who are involved living in a dorm room as a couple. But you cannot have a man and a woman living in a dorm room as a couple (under current housing rules). Then comes the issue of base housing. ...if the same sex couple gets married will they be entitled to base housing?? If a same sex couple gets married will the military accept this and allow paperwork to be introduced to protect spousal rights? What if a troop is uncomfortable living with a gay roommate do you article 15 a kid for that?? Glad I am not a 1st Sgt now.

    February 2, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Slider

    How 'bout a plan to find out if we have more Islamic terrorists, like that Ft. Hood killer, in our military, Mr. Gates?

    How 'bout disclosure of the failures that led to Ft. Hood, Mr. Gates?

    Seems a better thing for you to do than argue over settled law.

    February 2, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Retired US Army Officer-Kansas

    No need to do anything, just let it die a silent death. And make it known to the Command that the Inspector General will be involved to insure that only appropriate actions are taken and that actions taken or individuals targeted for action for no other reasons than an individuals sexual leaning will be deal with harshly.

    February 2, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Dar

    Well this should be interesting to see how this unfold's. I really dont care if someone is gay, bi or striaght. Your sexual preference is and should be your right as an American. Why, because we are free for now.

    But not everyone sees things like that and I really worry that a buuba with a gun in his hand during a gun fight over seas my do something stupid and there are people like that. It is a shame but a true reality.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 2, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. will

    Congratulations to our President for standing up to equal rights for all Americans!

    February 2, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. LIP

    It's about time and does it really matter?
    With the budget eliminating money for the NASA space program and turning it over to free enterprise, the military will probably go the same direction with the fututre employment of mercenaries provided by free enterprise. Kind of like turning the clock back to the 16th century, eh. Look at the money we can save by not having an Air Force or Army or those pesky Marines. It is all overhead, so why keep any of it?
    I seem to recall about fourty years ago, the space program was sold to us as something that would change the future. Will free enterprise have the same long range goals that our government has had to use those gains to protect Americans? Will they do it with the same amount of energy? I kind of doubt it.

    February 2, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Since right wingnut chicken hawks are unwilling to serve in the military, we should accept those qualified men and women who want to serve. It is time for the military to be run as something other than an exclusive club.

    February 2, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Average American

    Thank God!

    February 2, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Ryan

    It's about time. We've lost so many good soldiers to this policy and people's ignorance. And to those in the military who say they don't want to serve alongside these Americans – then you obviously aren't a true patriot fighting for the right reasons. You're a neurotic d-bag is what you are.

    February 2, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Ender

    Good. The time has come to end it.

    February 2, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Ken

    Finally! A step in the right direction. I know I don't have the courage to stand in harms way for this country so I applaud anyone who does..no matter what.

    February 2, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. steve

    The Pentagon will spend the entire summer inventing a new wheel to deal with this issue. All they have to do is get it done now. On the other hand, they do have their plates full in dealing with some ignorant men who have never known a gay person personally and fear them like they fear another person the church made up – Satan. All they know is what the church propaganda machine has been spewing out for as long as anyone can remember. Real men would not go ballistic and postal if another man winked at them. Real men would be flattered, but tell the guy to move on.

    February 2, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |