Top Uniformed Officer: Gay Ban Should be Lifted

By: ANNE FLAHERTY and ANNE GEARAN / Associated Press Writers
By: ANNE FLAHERTY and ANNE GEARAN / Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The military's top uniformed officer is declaring that gays should be allowed to serve openly in uniform, arguing that it is "the right thing to do."

It was the strongest statement yet from the Pentagon on this volatile issue. Adm. Mike Mullen told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday he is deeply troubled by a policy that forces people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

Mullen said he knows many will disagree about abandoning the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and said there are practical obstacles to lifting the 1993 ban. But he said he thinks the military can handle it. Mullen is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chief military adviser to President Barack Obama.


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