CBNNews.com - President-elect Barack Obama will delay the repeal of the military's current policy of "Don't ask, Don't tell," which is bans open homosexuals in the ranks, the Washington Times reports.
Obama had promised to end the ban during his campaign.
According to the Washington Times, two advisers on the Obama transition team said the president-elect will not ask Congress to end the ban for months, and maybe not until 2010.
The advisers say Obama first wants to reach an agreement with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his new political appointees at the Pentagon before he presents legislation to Congress.
President Clinton Tried to Lift the Ban
Obama's team is going purposely slow, learning a lesson from what happened 15 years ago when President Clinton tried to order the Pentagon to strike the rule banning openly gay military service.
On Capitol Hill then, both Republicans and Democrats objected. Retired veterans and a number of pro-military conservative activist groups also vowed to join the battle.
In the end, a compromise was reached, resulting in the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. As a result, gay service members must keep their sexuality private or face dismissal. According to the Pentagon, around 12,500 people have been discharged under the rule.
Gay Activists Overconfident?
"I think 2009 is about foundation building and reaching consensus," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The group is a supporter of military personnel targeted under the ban.
"If it's part of a larger package, it has a better chance of getting passed," he said.
But Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute at the Media Research Center says gay activists are overconfident in trying to get the ban lifted.
"Homosexual activists are overconfident because they have not yet seen a counterforce emerge as occurred in 1993," he said.
"But as the threat grows stronger, we will see groups forming and the resistance building," Knight explained said. "Americans go about their business and are not activists until they have a Pearl Harbor moment. That has yet to happen, but it will."
Most Americans "are unaware that gay activists have the military in their gun sights," he added.
Source: The Washington Times