News (USA)

Gay lawmakers urge Obama to veto defense bill with anti-gay amendments

Gay lawmakers urge Obama to veto defense bill with anti-gay amendments
Barney Frank

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and the three other openly gay members of Congress have asked President Barack Obama to veto the defense spending bill if it contains language that delays the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on openly gay service members.

On May 26, the U.S. House approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included three controversial, anti-gay amendments, one of which seeks to delay implementation the DADT by requiring all four military service chiefs to certify that implementation of the repeal would not impact combat readiness.

In a letter signed by Frank and Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the lawmakers said that while they do not believe the Senate will approve similar language, “we think it would be the best course for you to reaffirm your strong support of the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ by making it explicit that you would veto a bill in the unlikely event that it came to you.”

Previously, the White House, on May 14, expressed “serious objections” to the amendment, first approved by the House Armed Services Committee on May 11.

Currently, only the President, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, are required to certify the repeal.

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