Published December 3, 2010
Update, 1:27 p.m. In a carefully worded statement, Brown says he will vote to repeal DADT:
I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others. I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.
Gates said he has been careful to avoid mentioning timeframes — the implementation could take four months or four years, he said. Brown supports Gates’ interest in repealing DADT on his own schedule.
12:48 p.m. His position on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is unclear, but Sen. Scott Brown has sent signals that he would vote to repeal the law.
The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday peppered Defense Secretary Robert Gates with questions about a new survey that shows most service members are ambivalent. Gates wants to repeal the ban on openly gay service members before a court does.
Brown is a long-serving member of the Massachusetts National Guard.
“I’ve been to many funerals, unfortunately, in my home state, for those soldiers,” Brown said at the hearing. “And one thing I never asked was: Are they — are they gay or straight?”
Liz Halloran, reporting for NPR:
Brown … questioned the service members’ 28 percent response rate to surveys about repeal implementation, but focused more on what would happen after the policy is rolled back.
Gates told Brown that his approach would be that “everything has to be done” before certification is signed — from training to making sure the service chiefs are “comfortable” that readiness and unit cohesion have been addressed to their satisfaction.
Brown asked whether Gates could guarantee that he wouldn’t certify the change until he’s comfortable that the process can move forward without affecting military readiness.
Brown has said he will release a statement on repeal at the close of the hearings Friday.
Democratic Sen. John Kerry, also a vet, is on record as opposing DADT. Republican Susan Collins of Maine also suggested she is open to repealing the law.