After defending the policy in the past, Sen. Ben Nelson told Defense Department officials at a Dec. 2 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that it’s time to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay people from serving. “To me, the issue seems to be not whether to allow gays to serve in the military but whether to allow them to serve openly,” Nelson said. “But permitting them to serve, but not openly, undermines the basic values of the military — honesty, integrity and trust — and when that’s undermined anywhere, it’s undermined everywhere.” A report released by the Pentagon on Nov. 30 showed 70 percent of servicemembers thought repealing the policy would have a positive, mixed or no effect. The Senate is expected to vote on the repeal next week.


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