Committee to Review Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy

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For the first time in 15 years, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings this fall on the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The decision was promoted by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.  After meeting with a gay constituent who was dismissed from the armed services, she determined the rule --which bans homosexuals from serving openly in the military-- is "a very ineffective policy."

"I do not think it represents who we are as Americans and our values," Gillibrand said in a statement.

She added that the don't ask, don't tell  policy has weakened national security and is confident the Obama administration will support removing it. 

Still, critics like radio show host Janet Parshall say ending the policy will not only go against Americas morals, but also against "everything we know to be a good military standard."

"Morality says that these are the people that keep watch on our bases all across the country," she told CBN News.  "Morality says these are the people that say.. 'I will never leave the battle field alone. I'll lay down my life for my friend if I have to. I don't want to have to worry about bunking with some guy and living in close quarters that's trying to get involved in activity that's reprobate to me personally.'"

President Obama promised on the campaign trail to remove the policy, but Parshall says there's a possibility he won't deliver.

"Now what we've got is President Obama on the horns of a dilemma," she explained. "He makes a political promise on the campaign trail, but then he begins to talk with the men and women who serve this country admirably and for a long period of time... saying, 'Oh no. Don't do it.'"

"How are you going to get people to enter a voluntary military when you have this sticking point of same-sex attraction in the military," Parshall added.

The administration has been cautious in deciding whether to keep the policy and Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said ending the rule will be difficult.

Congress passed don't ask, don't tell in 1993 and former President Bill Clinton signed it into law.  The policy says the banning of homosexual activity is necessary because of the "unique circumstances of military service."

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