U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has urged Congress to repeal the policy that bans openly gay individuals from serving in the military.
During a press conference on Nov. 30, Gates cited a Pentagon report that says a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" will have little long-term risks on the military's effectiveness. Gates warned congressional leaders that if DADT is not repealed by the end of the lame-duck session, the issue will likely end up in Federal courts, which could create more risk to military operations.
Gates said that a judicial decision would be "far more disruptive and hazardous to battlefield readiness" than a congressional change, according to NPR.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) is one of the strongest opponents of a repeal. He has criticized the Pentagon's report, saying that fewer than 30 percent of service members were represented in a survey that asked members about their views on gays and lesbians in the military.
On the other hand, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the Defense Department's report, claiming that repeal of the "discriminatory" DADT is "good public policy." Pelosi said that more than 13,000 homosexuals have been discharged from the military because of their sexual preference.