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|After leading fight for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' Sam Nunn now backs repeal|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|December 09, 2010 08:45|
Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, who as a senator from Georgia helped lead the fight for the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, now says he agrees the policy can be repealed.
"Society has changed, and the military has changed," Nunn told the Associated Press this week.
The Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings on repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" last week, after the Pentagon released a report that found a large majority of military service members do not believe openly gay troops would have a negative impact.
During the hearings, leaders of the branches of the military said they support repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so long as they are given enough time to implement the policy change.
Military leaders who testified said they would prefer for Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rather than have the policy thrown out by a court, as congressional repeal would likely allow a longer transition period.
Efforts to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" through an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill continue. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would push for a cloture vote on the bill, the first step to ending debate and bringing a final vote.
That vote was expected to take place last night, but has been delayed until at least today.
Georgia's current U.S. senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, oppose repeal of the military gay ban. However, activists continue to encourage repeal supporters to contact their senators to share their opinions and attempt to gain their support before the vote.
After pushing for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 1993, Nunn's opinion was changed by the military leaders' testimony, according to AP.
"That's a huge change," he said. "I think that makes a big difference in perceptions of fairness and legitimacy in the law.
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