The Obama administration's push to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on openly gay troops will take center stage today with the release of a Pentagon report that includes a survey on how nearly a half-million troops feel about such a change.
The poll is expected to show a comfort level among service members for getting rid of the 1993 law, according to officials familiar with the 10-month study's results who were quoted by the Associated Press. Seventy percent predicted that lifting the ban would have "positive, mixed or no results," according to the AP.
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Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and all three service secretaries have expressed their support publicly for repealing the law, putting them at odds with the senior military commanders who have either opposed repeal, expressed their doubts or withheld comment.
Gates and Mullen are scheduled to discuss the findings with Congress this morning.
The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., said he wants to hold public hearings on the report in the coming weeks during the lame-duck session, so that lawmakers have the opportunity to press Gates and the service chiefs on any lingering questions about the report and its assessment of the impact of repealing the law.