February 14th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Kyl: Don't repeal DADT


Washington (CNN) - The number two Republican in the Senate said Sunday that he sees no need to repeal the military's "Dont Ask, Dont Tell" policy on gays and lesbians service members.

"I respectfully disagree," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on State of the Union when asked about comments by Obama national security adviser James Jones.

Earlier in the program, Jones, who served four decades in the Marine Corps, said he supported the positions of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. Earlier this month, Gates informed Congress that the Pentagon was laying the groundwork for the eventual repeal of the policy and Mullen said it was his personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly "would be the right thing to do."

"I tend to take my lead on things like this from my colleague John McCain," Kyl said. Sen. McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee, has suggested that "Dont Ask, Dont Tell" accommodates the desires of a majority of service members while still allowing gays and lesbians to serve in uniform.

As the Senate Republican Whip, Kyl is charged with gauging and building support in the Senate Republican Caucus and counting Republican votes for legislation before the Senate. Asked by Crowley whether there was enough votes in the Senate to repeal the policy, Kyl said "I have no idea."

"You haven't counted noses yet?," Crowley asked Kyl.

"No," he replied, "I assume the process of getting some kind of a report prepared and testimony to Congress will take many months."

Only Congress can repeal "Dont Ask, Dont Tell." In his first State of the Union address last month, President Obama called on Capitol Hill to get rid of the policy which dates from the administration of the last Democratic president in the early 1990s.

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Randy

    I'd have more respect for the homophobic liars that don't want a reversal of DADT if they just came out and called it like it is. They just plain don't like gay people. Instead of just saying it they make up lies that it will 'bring our military down' or the 'military readiness will be affected'

    Why can't we pass a law restricting these fools from going against the majority of Americans.....Gay people are no longer to be feared and hated! They are patriotic Americans, just like the rest of us!!!

    February 14, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Edwin

    @Sue,

    Your argument is the same one people used to exclude women from the military, and blacks from the military. "It would DESTROY our military" is what they all said.

    So you have a lot of history on your side, but it is the history of discrimination.

    Enlistment numbers did not go down because women were brought into the army, and it didn't go down because of blacks, either.

    There were white soldiers who objected to showering with blacks. After all, the idea that "colored" people used the same facilities as white was pretty objectionable to some.

    You say the current system works fine and that gays do not have to acknowledge their orientation. Forcing soldiers to lead secret lives does not make sense to me - it impacts on the unit as a whole. Even forgetting that, the fact is that someone else can 'out' you for any number of reasons, and you have no say in it.

    Of course, gays could avoid all relationships and all actions that could potentially give themselves away. If you think this is best, then your problem really is with homosexuality, not military policy, and you should forget about DADT.

    February 14, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. mary

    Do you suppose if we asked our servicemen their thought on this would they object?
    These same men and women are putting their life on line everyday and I'm sure they have saved lives of our soldiers. Why are they not able to be open about their sexual preference.
    this is not dark ages.

    February 14, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    Anyone else surprised Kyl hasn't done his job, taking a head count? Congressional Republicans were paid for the last year +, including benefits and traveling expenses, thanks to us taxpayers, for doing absolutely nothing but mugging for the cameras, running to the nearest open mic, and obstructionism in order to regain power. Wouldn't we all like to be paid over $170,000 a year plus benefits for nothing? And they complain about lazy people on the public dole? What are they?

    February 14, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. monasterymonkey

    Kyl, another republican hawk who conveniently avoided the draft in the 60s.

    There's a word for that HYPOCRITE!

    February 14, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Stephen Matthews

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" should apply more to our political views than sexual orientation.
    I was a Reagan era submarine sailor and there were sailors who we suspected may be gay, but that prospect offended no one. The hyper-effeminate males will probably have no interest in serviing in the military. And the work ethic and intellectual capacity of a majority of gay men and women would serve the military well.
    Besides, gays have served in the military since organized warfare began.

    February 14, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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