Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) spoke out against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal amendment that’s part of the Defense Authorization Bill this afternoon, saying that the military should not rush to repeal the policy before hearing from the troops in the field. Inhofe suggested that ending the ban against gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces would cause problems in the ranks, citing his own experiences during the late 1950s:
INHOFE: Now, I’m a veteran. You know, I can remember going through the — When I was there in the United States Army, and anyone who’s a veteran knows the problems that would be associated with the practice of a — having a — repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t tell so that people are openly gay in the military. You’re going to have all kinds of billeting problems and other problems.
Watch the highlights:
Inhofe’s infusion of his own time in the service into the repeal debate is misplaced, since America’s military and society has become significantly more tolerant towards minorities in the intervening years.
Inhofe also insisted that Democrats were circumventing the opinion of the troops, despite the Pentagon’s extensive surveying of the troops and their families. He also said that Democrats were trying pass the measure before the November 2nd elections to appease the “huge” “gay lobby.”
Meanwhile, at a press conference today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the Senate will move to the defense authorization measure this week.