It's the issue that got Bill Clinton's presidency off on something of the wrong foot -- gays in the military.
And now, more than 100 retired generals and admirals are urging President-elect Barack Obama to tackle it early as well.
Over the objections of many in the military, Clinton lifted the ban on homosexuals and pushed through a "don't ask, don't tell" policy -- a compromise of sorts that allows gays to serve as long as they are not open about their sexuality.
Critics, however, say the policy has cost the military many highly qualified people at a time when it is fighting two wars and having some difficulty finding recruits.
During the campaign, Obama said that he will work with Pentagon leaders to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but his adviser, retired Air Force General Merrill McPeak, said that the policy should be retained.
Admiral Charles Larson, former superintendent of the US Naval Academy, is leading the push for repealing the policy, and replacing it with a policy of "equal treatment" after initially supporting the policy in 1993.
Larson changed his view after the policy was not put into effect the way he hoped and after learning there were "witch hunts," according to the Palm Center, a California research institute that helped organize the statement by 104 retired generals and admirals. He was also influenced by having a number of people work for him who were gay, and by having a gay daughter with whom he spoke at length about gays in the military, the Palm Center says.
"I think the time has come to find a way to let talented, young, patriotic Americans who want to serve their country serve," he said in a statement, "and let's enforce high standards of personal and human behavior for everyone."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.