Pentagon Lawyer: Delay Dropping 'Don't Ask'
'Now is not the time," warns Adm. Mullen's counsel
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2010 6:18 AM CST
Gay rights advocates march by the White House in Washington during a protest last fall demanding that President Obama keep his promise to allow gays to serve openly in the military.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – The in-house lawyer for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has urged him to delay moving towards dropping the military's ban on having serving gays serve openly. "Now is not the time," the lawyer wrote in a memo obtained by the AP, citing the importance of winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and "the number of unknowns" repealing the ban would involve.

Ditching "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was one of President Obama's campaign pledges but strong opposition remains among top brass. Congressional leaders are considering moving forward with a repeal this year, but Mullen's adviser is urging them to wait until 2011 before sending a law to Congress. With debate taking 6 months to a year, that time frame would make the law an issue during the next presidential campaign.