Military Tells Congress to Keep Gay Ban for Now - New York News

Military Tells Congress to Keep Gay Ban for Now

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates is warning Congress not to tamper with the military's ban on openly gay service members until he can come up with his own plan for repeal.

In a strongly worded letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Gates told a House committee on Friday that forcing policy changes on the military before it's ready "would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, concerns and perspectives do not matter."

Gay rights advocates want legislation this year that would freeze military firings of openly gay service members, and some lawmakers are planning to offer such a bill.

Gates says he supports lifting the ban but first wants to survey the troops on how it should be done.

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