(CNSNews.com) - Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) told CNSNews.com that it is “premature to make any decision” on repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy and the federal law that prohibits homosexuals from serving openly in the military.
At the U.S. Capitol, CNSNews.com asked Nelson, “Do you support repealing the policy (DADT) and the actual law that prohibits homosexual activity in the military?”
Senator Nelson said, “I want to see what the military is putting together. Both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullin, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said they want to engage an exhaustive study to find out what the impact, a very careful analysis of what the impact, would be on our military.”
“We have two wars going on, so it’s a question of what impact would it have on readiness, retention, and recruitment,” he said, “and until we have that report to look at it, it’s premature to make any decision in my opinion about what to apply to the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ rule that we have in place today.”
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2010” at a press conference on Wednesday, Mar. 3. This legislation would allow homosexuals and bisexuals to openly serve in the United States Armed Forces if it becomes law.
The language of Lieberman’s bill has not been made available yet. However, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives last year. Its purpose, it says, is to “institute in the armed forces a policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation.”
Lieberman’s bill will likely borrow from the language of the House bill, entitled the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009. The Act would repeal existing law, Article 10, Section 654 of US Code, which prohibits homosexual and bisexual activity in the military and does not allow homosexuals or bisexuals to serve openly.
Nelson was asked if he would ultimately support homosexuals and bisexuals serving openly in the military.
“Until we have the careful study and analysis by the military, which I understand is going to be undertaken and pursued as quickly as it possibly can,” he said, “I’m not going to make a decision on any of that.”
“It’s a matter of military readiness and what impact it may or may not have on that, and that’s what the issue from my standpoint is about – not what your personal predelictions are or something like that,” Nelson told CNSNews.com. “What is the impact on the military? That’s what I’m going to look at it.”