Gen. Colin Powell, a previous proponent of the military's gay ban, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," released a statement Feb. 3 acknowledging his error and noting that society has changed in the years since DADT first came into play.
"In the almost 17 years since [ DADT ] legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed. I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen," Powell said in statement.
"This announcement today by General Powell represents yet another crushing blow to the failed and archaic [ DADT ] law," said Alexander Nicholson, founder and executive director of Servicemembers United. "General Powell is one of the most respected retired military leaders in the United States today, and this announcement should serve as the final nail in the coffin of this outdated law. Hold-out supporters of this failed law should read the writing on the wall now and abandon their attempts to cling to this failed policy."
Gen. Powell was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the issue of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military was last debated in 1993 and when DADT went into effect in 1994. His announcement follows the announcement from current Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen yesterday that he now supports repealing the law after a careful examination takes place to determine the best strategy for mitigating any potential impact the policy change might have on the armed forces.
See full story on the DADT repeal movement at http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=24704