Senior Pentagon officials, in a strongly worded letter to the Chair of the House Armed Services Committee on Friday, have warned Congress not to tamper with the ban that prohibits gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, have informed the Committee that pushing any changes in the ban before the military is ready would be a grave mistake. Admiral Mullen stated: “Our military must be afforded the opportunity to inform us of their concerns, insights and suggestions if we are to carry out this change successfully.”
Gates is on record as being in support of lifting the ban but feels the troops should be surveyed on just how to accommodate the change. Apparently, the military is looking at how housing arrangements will be effected or altered and whether gay/lesbian partners of military personnel will be entitled to military benefits. A study will be conducted and is expected to be completed by December.
Gates’ letter to the House Committee was not received well by certain elements within the gay/lesbian community. Approximately 100 gay protesters and their happy hour hangers-on, gathered outside the White House to listen to speeches by Hardly Happening Howard Dean and the gay community’s latest in-your-face action figure, Dan Choi. During the protest, six demonstrators were arrested for chaining themselves to the White House gates.
Much ado, much ado. In my humble view, the military is acting responsibly and ultimately the ban will be lifted. So enough of the staged histrionics already. America is getting bored and irritated by it all.