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By William Wan
Three former military chaplains have announced support for a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding gays in the military. The retired chaplains — from Army, Navy and Air Force — say they spoke with several fellow chaplains and veterans, including several returning from Iraq and Afghanistan before crafting their statement.
Their statement, released by VoteVets, lays out their argument for the repeal: It would help recruiting and retention; there are already “tens of thousands of known gay service members currently working and fighting alongside their straight peers; and there is no demonstrable negative impact on unit morale, cohesion or combat readiness.”
The statement also includes a Q&A that covers a wide range of topics from the effect on group showers to roommate situations and civil unions/benefits.
Gay activists have expressed frustration that the Obama administration hasn’t taken action on the policy yet. This month, the American Medical Association, the nation’s largest doctors’ group, also backed repealing the policy — a decision that the conservative Christian organization, Focus on the Family, criticized as politically motivated.
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced earlier this month that he expects that the policy will “likely” be repealed next year in the 2010 defense spending bill. But as this story notes, “Frank’s announcement was met with skepticism by some progressive and gay-rights bloggers”