Murray, Cantwell: Time for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ to go

By:  seattlepi.com
Source: Seattle PI

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., applauded a new Pentagon
report saying repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will win wide
acceptance among military personnel and not harm operations.

A provision to allow gays and lesbians to openly serve is included in a
military spending bill set for Senate debate this week.

“This report gives us just one more reason among many to finally repeal
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’,” said Murray. “We have heard the stories of the lives
this policy has ruined, we have heard from top-ranking military officials that
it simply doesn’t work, and now we have heard from service members that they
want it to change.

“It’s a policy that has failed in its intended goals and done a tremendous
disservice to men and women who want nothing more than to defend their country
and the freedoms America stands for.”

Cantwell applauded the report, and argued that it is time for the Senate to

“The repeal is measured and responsible,” she said. “Secretary (Robert) Gates
has assured us that the pending legislation provides the Department of Defense
with both the time and flexibility it needs to implement this important policy

“We are engaged in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are
dealing with a brewing crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

“This is not a time for obstructionist tactics to be used to block
consideration of legislation vitally important to our war fighters and the
defense of our nation.”

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., who sits on the House Armed Services Committee,
argued that an inclusive military will be a better military.

“Allowing all qualified men and women to serve their country will have
long-term benefits to our national security,” Larsen said.

Two prominent Washington politicians, Sen. Warren Magnuson and Rep. (later
Sen) Henry Jackson, gave support more than 60 years ago when President Harry
Truman integrated the armed forces