The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy is really about to be a wrap! Harlemite General Colin Powell, who was one of the main opponents of allowing gays to serve openly in the military back in the ’90’s, publicly addressed the policy today saying he’s changed his mind. Pop the hood to read what he has to say now.
“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” the former secretary of state said in a statement. “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense (Robert) Gates and Admiral (Michael) Mullen.”
“General Powell has made clear that his position is about effectiveness in the military,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said. “His powerful voice for ending ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is a tipping point in favor of the brave men and women who are serving our nation in silence.”
Referring to Sen. John McCain of Arizona and other Republicans who still support the policy, Solmonese said: “I want to ask the senators and members who are speaking out against this repeal: What do you know about military effectiveness that General Powell, Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen and the commander in chief don’t know?
“The truth is that there are no more excuses. The death knell for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ has been rung, and now is the moment to send this law into the history books where it belongs,” he said.
The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy’ was created as a compromise in 1993 after President Bill Clinton proposed lifting the military’s ban on gays. For the last two years Powell has said that he thought the policy should be reviewed, but today’s statement is a very clear one in favor of dropping the policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve only if they stay closeted. Powell’s comments should help President Barack Obama achieve his plan to repeal the policy.
Whoa, this is a big deal for a conservative like Powell. This definitely signals progress for the gay rights movement. How difficult do you think it will be for Obama to change the policy? Will gay marriage be next?