Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Americas

Obama strikes deal to end Clinton-era military policy on gays

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-25

Barack Obama moved closer on Monday to repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which forces gays and lesbians in the military to hide their orientation or face expulsion, as the White House reached a compromise with lawmakers on the issue.

AFP - President Barack Obama's administration reached a deal Monday with top lawmakers in Congress designed to end a US ban on gays serving openly in the military.
  
Obama vowed to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which forces gays and lesbians to hide their orientation or face expulsion from the military, and has come under intense pressure from gay rights groups for swift action.
  
The White House and senior lawmakers said the compromise would be brought up in the House of Representatives, possibly as early as this week, but the law would not change until after the military completes an implementation review.
  
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the US Joints Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, had backed the idea of ending the rule.
  
They said in April however that they opposed any change to the prohibition in the short term because the military needed to assess how the move would impact the armed forces.
  
But Peter Orszag, the head of Obama's Office of Management and Budget, said in a letter to key lawmakers on Monday that a compromise to allow the review to be complete before the law is changed would permit movement on the legislation.
  
The review is not due to be completed until December 1.
  
The compromise was contained in an amendment drafted by Senator Joseph Lieberman, an independent who votes with Democrats and is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
  
The amendment provides for a review of the impact on changing the law on readiness, military effectiveness and unit cohesion, and provides that the law will not become law until the review is complete and remedies carried out.
  
The review will seek the views of troops and military families on the issue, as well as take into account the experience of NATO allies and other armies that permit gays to serve openly.
  
More than 13,500 service members have been dismissed under the law since it was adopted.
  
The 1993 law replaced an outright prohibition against homosexuals in the military. Former president Bill Clinton agreed to the compromise policy after meeting stiff resistance from commanders and lawmakers when he proposed allowing gays to serve openly.
  
The move was warmly welcomed by groups which have campaigned for years for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
  
"The White House announcement is a dramatic breakthrough," said Aubrey Sarvis, director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
  
"President Obama's support and Secretary Gates' buy-in should insure a winning vote, but we are not there yet. The votes still need to be worked and counted."

Date created : 2010-05-25

COMMENT(S)