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Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Urges Secretary of Army to Clarify Recent DADT Remark

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Army Times newspaper recently discussed lifting the ban on openly gay service members with the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh. Reporter Rick Maze interviewed the Secretary and wrote the following on October 25:

It's possible...that homosexuals could be allowed into some occupations or units but barred from others, McHugh said, stressing that he was not aware of any such plans but only discussing how the issue might play out. 'I don't want to prejudge the situation,' he [McHugh] said. 'I am saying if he [Obama] did that, it would be my job to explain it when the appropriate time comes.'

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), responded to this report.

"We gather that Secretary McHugh was alluding in this interview to a hypothetical situation - if the President proposed some sort of phased-in approach to lifting the ban by Military Occupation Specialties (MSOs). But speaking in hypotheticals about separate billets or a gradual lifting of the ban does not advance the President's stated goal of full legislative repeal. The ban must be lifted across all services, all occupations, and all units - all at the same time. Any kind of piecemeal approach to repeal, or even any discussion of such an approach, is an absolute nonstarter."

SLDN respectfully asks Secretary McHugh to amend or clarify his comments by explicitly stating full repeal is the only way to go.

"We hope Secretary McHugh would quickly slam the door shut on any phase-in for repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said Sarvis, "and get squarely on the same page as the commander in chief, who said almost two weeks ago, 'I will end Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'"