Sen. John McCain, a top Republican, warned on Thursday “it may be premature” to end the military’s ban on gays, as the party geared up to block President Barack Obama’s bid to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy this year.
“I am not saying this law should never change,”?McCain said, addressing the U.S. defense secretary and top military officer as they appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I am simply saying that it may be premature to make such a change at this time.”
McCain and some fellow Republicans also cast doubt on a Pentagon study released two days ago that predicted little impact if the 17-year-old policy were ended.
Gays currently are allowed to serve in the armed forces as long as they keep their sexual orientation private. At least 13,000 men and women have been expelled from the military under the ban.