Obama Will Wait on 'Don't Ask' Repeal

Wants to prioritize consensus-building; heeds Clinton's mistake
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2008 12:12 PM CST
Andrew Chapin of New York City takes part in a rally on Capitol Hill, March 23, 2007, supporting legislative efforts to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President-elect Barack Obama plans to wait a bit before pursuing a campaign promise to overturn the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuals, reports the Washington Times. The new administration may not bring up the ban on gays in the military until 2010, in order to generate support and avoid another Clinton-esque debacle.

“I think 2009 is about foundation building and reaching consensus,” said a supporter of gay military personnel who has been working with Obama’s transition team. The worst outcome would be a repeat of President Clinton’s 1993 order to allow gays in the military, which triggered a backlash that turned a mere regulation into actual law.