February 14th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
13 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. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Kyl is the reason we went to the pet store and bought a scooper.

    February 14, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Xavier

    The fear of homosexuals that rules the republican party is the same fear that causes most non-white voters to turn away from the party.

    February 14, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Why

    Why is congress wasting time on crap like this when the country's debt is the major issue here.We are going to get hit with taxes like never before just to keep from going bankrupt from the wasted spending this administration, the one before and congress has saddled the American people with, Get prepared, the ones that work for a living will be shafted again to pay for all the foolish debt our so called leaders have piled up and to pay for all the give away programs they have in mind. We can]t even pay our own bills, but let's send billions around the world to help the poor countries who don't know what birth control is,

    February 14, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. bobby

    you make me sick with your hypocrisy Mr Kyl...come on put your life on the line but do it in the closet what a bunch of two faced sickos you guys are.Is one life worth more than another. If this is what america has come to I want no part of it! Maybe if your was gay you would open your homophobic mind a bit more

    February 14, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. valwayne

    The Democrats have promised to end the discrimination against gay men and women risking their lives for the nation since before Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. They've betrayed and broken those promises. Obama and the Democrats have been in total control of Congress and the White House since the gay community helped give them total control in 2008. Yet Obama is still our Discriminator in Chief!!! Obama and the Democrats could end "Don't ask, Don't tell" in a week if they decided to keep their promises. Its time gay men and women joined Rosa Parks and refuse to sit at the back of the bus! Not one Penny, nor one vote until the Democrats stop the lies and betrayals and fulfill their promises. As for the Republicans....Grow up and come into the 21st century. Gay men and women have been giving their lives for our country since the Revolutionary War. You say you honor those fighting and dying for our country. Prove it!!!!!

    February 14, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Texas Jack

    From a 30 year veteran of the U.S. Army. Don't do away with, "Don't ask, don't tell". To do otherwise will cause disharmony throughout the military forces. But, of course this is another one of Obama's tactics that he keeps coming up with to destroy America. Impeach this party members now.

    February 14, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Sue

    Kyl is 100% right on!!!

    If they repeal DADT it is going to DESTROY our military. Enlistments will decrease and it will DESTROY our military.

    For those currently enlisted--The military and the government will end up facing NUMEROUS law suits-–as "straight" men/women in the miltiary begin to file lawsuits demanding that their "rights" be respected/acknowledged.

    For example, "straight" military men/women will file lawsuits demanding that they not be placed in the same rooms as gay people, that they not have to shower with gay people, etc.

    Leave the current system alone, it is working fine. Nobody is preventing gays from joining the military. There is no reason why they have to make it public knowledge that they are gay.

    There are more people who are NOT gay in the military and who join the military--therefore, the laws should remain the same in order to protect the "MAJORITY" in the military.

    February 14, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Aunt Bea and Opie

    The gall of this closet airport toe wrestler is amazing,but then again he is from Texas,land of steers and.

    February 14, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. TheTruthForOnce, NOT BS

    It is discrimination. There is no reason to have it. There is no justification for it other than bigoted narrow minded thinking. You have no problem with these boys and girls who are gay dying for the country but you have a problem with giving them the same rights that all humans should have? And you expect everyone that has functioning brain cells in this world to buy that?

    February 14, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. nate

    then treat everybody same. End DADT!
    Protecting majority? this rule is destroying minority and there is nothing to do with majority.
    Republic party is old and out of date party on this issue.

    February 14, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |

    Why haven't all the OTHER military forces who allow gays to serve openly collapsed?

    "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    Bigots said the same thing when Truman integrated our Armed Forces.

    Personally, I can't *IMAGINE* wanting to serve in the military of our country ... they're willing enough to take our tax money, and allow us to die for it (as second-class citizens); let the rich white straight conservative Republicanishe Bund fight its own wars.

    How many members of CONGRESS have sons, daughters, grandsons, or grand-daughters serving overseas???

    February 14, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. stefjwin

    So let me get this clear... it is okay to discriminate in order to accommodate the desires of a majority of service members? Does this sound familiar? If we accommodated the desires of the majority in this country, African-Americans would continue to sit at the back of the bus and enjoy no equal rights.

    February 14, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Mesa Mick

    Hey Kyl...Remember MLK Day?

    You know, when Arizona refused to recognize it as a national holiday until the rest of the country finally embarrased them into it?

    So now that it's time to retire DADT where do you and by default AZ stand on the issue? Why your against it if course, it smacks of "progress".

    Nice job in keeping up the old southern states tradition there Jon-Boy...It's called Bigotry.

    February 14, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. bobby

    thank God I live in Canada where every life that dies in the service of his or her country is respected gay or not. We allow openly gay men and women to serve and DIE for our country (as do many other countries I might ad) and we let them do it exactly the way they are. Our military has no problem and hasn't SUFFERED in the process. I always thought America was the LAND OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. Why are you so scared of your gay and lesbian friends they wont eat you...PROMISE!

    February 14, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Bob (Illinois)

    Senators Kyl and McCain are not paying attention to the real world!

    February 14, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    Kyl is the one who voted entirely against bills that helped women - 100% against.

    BUT – he votes almost that much in support of the John Birch Society. Those two things tell me all I need to know about that old white prejudiced retard.

    February 14, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Brad

    Hey kids, guess what. There's already gays in the military, all that will change is that they will no longer get fired if someone finds out.

    If you're afraid of gays joining the military, well too bad, they're already there and shockingly, the military hasn't collapsed in on itself.

    It would be nice if people could show they were more mature than a 10-year old on this issue.

    February 14, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Will

    For all those who dsagree with Don't Ask Don't Tell:

    Considering Ret. Marine Corps Gen James Jones testimony that gays and lesbians should serve openly in the military.....wouldn't someone who has served in the military on low and high level positions since 1967 know a lot more about the state of the military and it's ability to handle gays and lesbians serving openly?

    It helps to put homophobic ideology aside and to think objectively.

    @ Sue:

    Your logic makes absolutely no sense. Do you really think our military is that fragile that allowing gays and lesbians (who mind you are ALREADY serving) to come out is going to "destroy" the military? Homophobia shrouds any logic you have.

    February 14, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Carl Coleman

    Both Senator Kyle and John McCain are right in that they see no reason to do away with discrimination in the Military. Without Democratic President Truman's stand on fundamental human and civil rights, black patriots would have continued to be excluded from the military except in service career fields. Now their worst fears have been realized. Rather than destroying the combat cohesiviness, they have to deal with a Black Commander-in-Chief..I know its tought, but live with it..

    February 14, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. ran

    Republicans at it again. They are all for trusting in what the Generals want as long as it is what they the Republicans want. More fear/hate/obstructionism/purity ideology.

    For me Nov. 2010 can not get here fast enough so we can once and for all get ride of these hate/fear/obstructionist/purity Republicans with either a true Democrat or Independent. This country will be a lot better off once this happens.

    February 14, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. rob

    ReThuglicans are such Neanderthals. Don't their knuckles always hurt??

    February 14, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Walter

    If DADT really is necessary to satisfy the demands of the military rank and file, then that tells us something very troublesome about our military rank and file.

    But I don't believe that Kyl or McCain are right. I don't believe that our uniformed men and women are that ignorant and bigoted. The right-wing sells them short.

    February 14, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Ken in NC

    Kyl is one of those old school fools that refuses to move over and let a younger generation take the lead. It is his intention along with others to try to make a younger generation live by his Values. He fails to understand that we cannot stay here for ever and sooner or later they will have it so why not give them their chance while we are still here. This would afford them the opportunity to come to us for incite and advice rather than trying to force the younger generation to do and live as you wish.

    Get out of the way you old fool and let the younger drivers get in the seat. Senator Kyl if you are so against gays and lesbians serving why don't you use your considerable fortune to go to Afghanistan and join the Taliban. I am confident they think about as you do, 100 years in the past.

    February 14, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Dale

    Even if DADT is repealed, gays and lesbians retain the right to stay in the closet if they so choose. But they should not have to. To force them to "Don't Tell' is a violation of first amendment rights to freedom of speech. You may disagree with me... in fact you have a first amendment right to disagree with me. Does the first amendment not apply to gays and lesbians too?

    February 14, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. D.

    From Healthcare to DADT, to what is next: immigration? clean energy? Why deal with high priorities with all the "non job creating" "non economy saving" secondary issues?

    February 14, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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