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CA Congresswoman Calls For Hearing On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

July 23, 2008

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the federal policy on gays in the military, will be the focus of a hearing on Capitol Hill today. California Congresswoman Susan Davis has scheduled the hearing, which is the first since the policy was implemented in 1993. Gay-rights advocates call it one of the most anti-family laws on the books.

Steve Ralls, from Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, says the policy is unnecessary and discriminatory for the estimated 65,000 gays currently serving in the armed forces.

"It undermines the military's ability during a time of war to recruit and retain qualified service personnel it desperately needs."

Even though the California Supreme Court recently overturned a ban on same-sex marriage, gays in the military are denied that privilege, Ralls adds.

"The military has traditionally led on issues of integration and civil rights. If they were to do so by repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," they would benefit immensely in their recruitment numbers."

The government reports 12,000 service members have been dismissed under the law. Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama has said he wants to repeal "Don't Ask, Don' Tell," while Republican John McCain supports the policy.


Lori Abbott/Steve Powers, Public News Service - CA