Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak says he’s disappointed the Obama Administration is appealing a federal court order halting the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.
Sestak, a retired three-star admiral, estimates he had to discharge about a dozen service members during his career, because of the policy barring gays from openly serving in the military.
He says he’s frustrated by the amount of time it’s taken to overturn the guidelines.
"We were able to pivot and get our troops over to Afghanistan on short notice. We’re able to -- we have lessons learned from the integration of women into combat. Why do we have to wait a year for something that has to do with our integrity? We’re asking people and the institution to live a lie."
The House has voted to end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” once a Pentagon review is complete, but a Senate vote has been held up.
The military has announced it will follow the federal court order, even though the Obama Administration is appealing the decision, and has asked the judge to stay the ruling.
Repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is the rare issue where Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey see eye-to-eye.
Toomey says he’d “welcome” a policy change, if military leaders gave their approval.
"That’s what this should be all about. Not various people’s preferred social policy. So if our military leadership says we can execute our mission as well or better in the absence of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” then I’m in favor of repealing it."
The Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have both said they’d support a change.