Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NY's Gillibrand Gets Hearing on Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Newsday reports that New York's Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Monday she had won the commitment of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) to hold its first hearing this fall on the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy on gays in the military.

The article points out that Gillibrand does not currently serve on the SASC, but did during the last congressional session. Gillibrand's people said she did not raise the issue last year when she served on the committee because she believed there was no support for addressing the repeal of DADT under the previous administration and the Republican-led congress.

In recent weeks, Gillibrand had led an effort to impose an 18-month moratorium on the policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the US military. The NY senator had tied the moratorium to the defense authorization bill, but dropped the effort when she found there was not enough support for the measure.

The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act was passed as part of the bill.

No date has been set for the hearings which are expected to include experts on DADT. According to the Service Members Legal Defense Network, 321 service members have been discharge under DADT since President Obama took office.

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