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No change soon on 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, Gates says

Associated Press / March 30, 2009
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WASHINGTON - Don't expect any change soon to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy about gays in the military.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that both he and President Obama have "a lot on our plates right now." As Gates put it, "let's push that one down the road a little bit."

The White House has said Obama has begun consulting with Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how to lift the ban. Gates said that dialogue has not really progressed very far at this point in the administration.

The Pentagon policy was put in place after then-President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993.

The policy refers to the military practice of not asking recruits their sexual orientation. In turn, service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity, or trying to marry a member of the same sex.

Gates appeared on "Fox News Sunday."

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