By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 3, 2009 ( – Though President Obama has promised to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring open homosexuals from the military, administration officials have told the Pentagon and homosexualist groups that the president will first take time to convince more congressmen that the law should be overturned.

Those involved in the discussions have said Obama will not ask Washington legislators to lift the ban until he can present them with a “comprehensive assessment” on the impact of openly homosexual servicemen.

While some have questioned Obama’s dedication to the homosexual agenda by not acting immediately, the president has frequently made clear his ultimate intention to overturn the ban.

Five days before the inauguration, Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs left no room for uncertainty on the president’s goal. “You don’t hear politicians give a one-word answer much, But it’s ‘Yes,’” said Gibbs, when asked whether Obama would repeal the ban.

Many see Obama’s strategizing as an attempt to dodge the dead end President Clinton met when he attempted to lift the ban in 1993, as congressmen and military officials alike severely condemned the move.  Congress subsequently passed a law highlighting the legislative branch’s power to regulate the military, and reaffirming the traditional ban on homosexual activity in the military. 

“The Clinton experience makes a lot of folks [in the administration] apprehensive,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund.

The Department of Defense has long defended the ban, arguing that homosexuality is incompatible with the unavoidably intimate circumstances of military service. While it is still technically illegal for homosexuals to serve in the military, the Clinton-era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy prohibits military officials from determining a soldier’s sexual orientation.

Those who criticize the homosexual ban decry the fact that thousands of military personnel have been discharged for homosexuality since the 1993 law was instituted. 

But Charles Moskos, professor emeritus of military sociology at Northwestern University and one of the minds behind the “don’t ask, don’t tell” plan, said in a February 2005 Washington Post article that the vast majority of such dismissals result when soldiers volunteer their sexual orientation to their superiors. 

Declaring one’s homosexuality is still “the easiest way to get out with an honorable discharge,” noted Moskos.

See related article:

Homosexuality a Psychological Disorder: Pentagon Document