Rep. Charles Djou (R-HI), who won a special election to fill the seat vacated by Neil Abercrombie, was one of only 5 Republicans in the House to support an amendment establishing the process to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). On Friday, Djou explained that his personal experiences as an army reservist convinced him that the policy was broken:
DJOU: On that particular issue, it comes from personal experience. I have served for nearly 10 years now in the United States Army Reserve. What concerned me about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is that it just simply doesn’t work. And I have seen too many instances as an army reservist, soldiers would sign up for a re-enlistment bonus. Get this gigantic sum from the American taxpayer. And then as soon as the unit gets called up to mobilize to Iraq and Afghanistan, they suddenly claim they are gay, with no prior indication of that whatsoever. Get the discharge and keep the bonus. That’s wrong, that’s unfair and that’s why this policy should be changed.
The Advocate points out that Djou has a mixed record on gay issues. Djou opposes opposing civil unions and marriage equality but allegedly “supports providing domestic-partner benefits to federal employees, supports domestic-partner tax equity, supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and opposes efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution with a discriminatory anti-gay-marriage provision.”