2 lawmakers seek to delay end of military gay ban

By the Associated Press | September 16, 2011 | 12:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two top Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee are asking Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to delay the new policy allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, the committee's chairman, and Rep. Joe Wilson sent a letter this week to Panetta complaining that the policies and regulations for implementing the change are not finalized and have not been provided to the panel. McKeon and Wilson asked Panetta to delay the policy slated to go into effect on Tuesday.

Congress voted to lift the 17-year-old ban last December. President Barack Obama certified in July that repeal would not harm the military's ability to fight.

Army Gen. Carter Ham, who co-directed a Pentagon study on ending the ban, said Wednesday repeal is likely to prove "pretty inconsequential."