America

Gates Again Argues Against Waiting To Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Defense Secretary Robert Gates salutes as he arrives aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates salutes as he arrives aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Win McNamee/Getty Images

One argument made by Republican Sen. John McCain and others who do not want to repeal the law that bars openly gay men and women from serving in the military is that the change should not be made when the nation's military is already stretched thin and under enormous strain because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking to sailors aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln today in the Arabian Sea, Defense Secretary Robert Gates — who favors repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law — noted that McCain's opinion is shared by the Pentagon's "service chiefs."

"Their view is, by and large ... that it should come but not now," Gates said of repeal.

But, he added, "I don't think the world is going to get any less stressful in the years ahead" — a view that argues for not waiting.

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