McHugh on DADT: I have no interest in excluding people ‘otherwise qualified to serve.’

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"McHugh on DADT: I have no interest in excluding people ‘otherwise qualified to serve.’"

cnn0602091206113 After President Obama named Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) as his nominee for Secretary of the Army, progressives have been working to better understand McHugh’s current position on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on gays serving openly in the military. While McHugh still intends to refrain from publicizing his own personal view on the issue until his confirmation hearings, yesterday in an interview with Roll Call, he hinted that he believes it’s time to repeal the ban:

I have no interest as either a Member of Congress or as … secretary of the Army to exclude by some categorization a group of people otherwise qualified to serve,” McHugh told Roll Call.

He noted that the Armed Services Committee has not considered the policy “in any formal way” since 1993. In the meantime, “certainly, the recruiting-age population’s views have changed on that whole matter,” he said.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that McHugh shared Obama’s commitment to repealing the ban.

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A new Gallup poll finds that 69 percent of Americans — including 58 percent of self-identified conservatives and 60 percent of those who attend church weekly — now support allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

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