During today’s hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the army announced its opposition to instituting a moratorium on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell discharges, but some lawmakers suggested that they may still press ahead with the policy.
Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) asked Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey and Secretary of the Army John McHugh to obtain an official legal assessment “as to whether there are complications for a moratorium” and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) pressed the military to find ways to prevent additional discharges and protect soldiers who have not been officially discharged:
UDALL: So it seems that the eventuality of the repeal isn’t in question and so in that spirit, this Senator thinks we ought to put a moratorium in place during this implementation period…Who’s going to be the last gay service member to be discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? That would be a tragedy in my mind because they are clearly patriots. They clearly want to serve their country.
Earlier this month, Udall suggested that Congress should move concurrently on repeal while the Pentagon conducts its study. “[We should write into the repealing legislation] the period of time you suggest you need [to review the policy]…while legislating that at the end of that time we would have finality. In other words, a complete end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” Udall proposed at an earlier hearing.