Graham Says ‘Don’t Ask’ Changes Must Await Pentagon Review

Posted May 26, 2010 at 9:46am

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reiterated his opposition Wednesday to repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay service members, an issue that Democrats want to address before adjourning for the Memorial Day recess.

“I do not support the idea of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell before our military members and commanders complete their review,” Graham said in a statement.

The Armed Services Committee, on which Graham serves, is expected to take up an amendment to the defense authorization bill this week that would lift the 1993 policy banning openly gay individuals from the military. Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) announced earlier this week that they reached an agreement on the issue with White House officials and leaders at the Defense Department. The House is also likely to vote on the language before the end of the week.

However, Graham said no action should be taken until the Defense Department completes its yearlong review of the impact of ending the DADT policy.

“This so-called compromise would repeal the legislation first then receive input from the military,” Graham said. “This is not the proper way to change any policy, particularly something as controversial as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”