Gay Ban to be Excluded from House Armed Services Committee Debate

Gay Ban to be Excluded from House Armed Services Committee Debate

A ban prohibiting gay service members will not be part of the House Armed Services Committee proposed $700 billion 2011 defense bill, the Air Force Times is reporting.

House Committee Chairman, Rep. Ike Skelton of Mo., confirmed the exclusion from the House version.

"We do not support this issue being raised in this markup," Skelton said.  He along with the panel's highest ranking Republican, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of Ca., have agreed to follow the lead of Pentagon leaders on the issue.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen have asked Congress for more time to conduct an internal investigation into how a change would affect the military and how such a change could be implemented properly.

However, the House could still propose that a ban be added during debate on the House floor.

In addition, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Sen. Carl Levin of Mich., said that they still intend to have open dialogue over the military's policy on gays during preparation of their version of the bill.  Levin reportedly supports repeal of DADT.

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Tags: News