MUSCAT, Oman (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates is predicting the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the armed forces will be around for a while longer.
He addressed the matter in remarks to sailors Monday aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea. Gates said that he was “not particularly optimistic” that Congress would overturn the policy soon, even though he wishes it would.
Senate Democrats want to vote this month to overturn the 1993 law, which bans gays from serving openly. But Republicans have blocked the proposal, insisting that Congress deal instead with tax cuts and spending.
Gates said he is concerned that Congress will drag its feet too long and federal courts will intervene.