"Changing the U.S. military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gay troops . . . Defense Secretary Robert Gates . . . noted it took five years for the U.S. military to racially integrate during the Truman administration."
UPDATE 5/11/09: White House conferencing with Pentagon about change
-- From "Defense secretary cautious on lifting 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays in military" Lara Jakes, Associated Press 4/16/09
Speaking at the Army War College, Gates said he and President Barack Obama were discussing the policy and whether to change it. Gates said he was not yet taking a position about whether gay troops should be open about their sexuality, which could lead to their discharge under the current rules.
"If we do it, it's imperative that we do it right and very carefully," Gates told reporters later on a military jet to Newport, R.I., where he was to speak Friday at the Navy's war college.
Obama committed during the 2008 presidential campaign to moving to end the Clinton administration-era policy that was enacted as a compromise between openly gay people serving in the armed forces and those opposed to gays in uniform.
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