'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Decision Kicked Back Until After Mid-Terms

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Decision Kicked Back Until After Mid-Terms

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Looks like President Obama is punting on a campaign promise until after the mid-term elections. If I was completely sure he'd back the repeal, I wouldn't care - but I'm never quite sure with him.

I'm really tired of gay issues being sent to the bottom of the agenda. How can we keep asking gay people to support the Democrats when they get so little in return?

President Obama has endorsed to a "don't ask, don't tell" compromise between lawmakers and the Defense Department, the White House announced Monday, an agreement that may sidestep a key obstacle to repealing the military's policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.

The compromise was finalized in meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers will now, within days, take a series of votes on amendments that repeal the Clinton-era policy, with a provision ensuring that any change would not take effect until after the Pentagon completes a study about the impact on troops. That study is due to Congress on Dec. 1.

In a letter to lawmakers pushing for a legislative repeal, White House budget director Peter Orszag wrote Monday that Obama's administration "supports the proposed amendment."

"Such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions," Orszag wrote.

While gay rights advocates hailed the move as a "dramatic breakthrough," it remained uncertain whether the deal would secure enough votes to pass both houses of Congress. Republicans have vowed to maintain "don't ask, don't tell," while conservative Democrats have said they would oppose a repeal unless military leaders made clear that they approved of such a change.

Even if the compromise language passes, a legislative repeal would go into effect only after Obama certifies that the change does not harm the nation's military readiness.

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