White House Backs Deal to Repeal 'Don't Ask'

Vote could come as early as this week
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2010 1:22 AM CDT
Updated May 25, 2010 7:38 AM CDT
Service members handcuffed themselves to the fence outside the White House during a protest last month.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – The White House has given its support to a deal that would lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military while giving the Pentagon plenty of time to implement changes. The compromise will allow lawmakers to vote on repealing the ban as early as this week. But the move won't take effect until after the Pentagon's review of the impact of the policy change on readiness, recruitment, and retention is completed later this year, Politico reports.

The White House move is a "dramatic breakthrough," according to the director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. "We're talking about a defense personnel policy that should not be a political football," he said. "We're on track for a good bipartisan vote." Republicans, however, have promised unified opposition to the repeal, and the Democrats may struggle to muster enough votes to get the amendment through Congress.

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