Mid-terms present ‘new opportunity’ for gay army policy

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A gay military group has hailed the mid-term elections as a ‘new opportunity’ to end discrimination in the armed forces caused by the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ban on openly gay recruits.

The Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN) announced it is looking forward to the new Democratic leadership in Congress but warned there is still much to be done.

A statement said: “The new doors that have opened, however, do not necessarily translate into certain, or fast, victory. Much work remains to be done, to educate both new and returning lawmakers.”

Most of the candidates who supported a repeal of the law were voted in by voters this week.

“Consensus on important issues comes through bi-partisan efforts and smart strategy that brings together both sides of the political aisle. SLDN is proud that 123 Members of Congress – both Republicans and Democrats – have co-sponsored the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, an amazing number for any bill’s first introduction.

“The new leadership in the House of Representatives will provide new opportunities to educate our elected leaders about the importance of repealing the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel. Legislation to repeal this unfair and un-American law will be re-introduced in the 110th Congress, and SLDN looks forward to working with the new leadership for its passage,” the statement concluded.

The SLDN may also be buoyed by the resignation of US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who often ignored complaints from gay campaigners.