The Senate Armed Services Committee is currently discussing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Senator McCain is now saying that now is not the time to bring up the issue.
He "honors the sacrifice" of gays and lesbians in the service. But DADT allows for "cohesion" and "unit morale."
Presents a letter from 1000 general and flag officers who support DADT.
You can watch hearings here.
Update: Gates fully supports President Obama on the change.
Update II: Admiral Michael Mullen also supports the repeal and the lengthy study.
Update III: Three-minute first round of questions beginning now.
Update IV: McCain disappointed by SecDef Gates response. Should determine whether the repeal is a good idea before studying how to do it. Gates "biased," the Senator says.
Update V: Senator Udall gave kudos to Mullen. We have a "live and let live attitude" in the Rocky Mountain West. Quotes Barry Goldwater: "You don't have to be straight to shoot straight."
Update VI: Senator Sessions said that he is concerned that the Commander-in-Chief has "announced" this decision and Gates and Mullen have supported. "I think we need and open and fair evaluation of this." Claims some misrepresentations.
Update VII: Senator Hagen wondered how will the study take into account the views of the combatant commanders.
Update VIII:Senator LeMieux: Also disappointed that the decision has been made to change the DADT. Pushed the McCain letter from other officers and an Op-Ed from a retired four-star general.
Update IX: Senator Webb said that the year-long study will not mean that the law will change immediately at the end of that period. Need to understand the "perils" of going in another direction.
Update X: Senator Chambliss wondered whether other rules might change if DADT does. "Unacceptable risk" to this.
Update XI: Senator Burriss raised the integration of the military - by executive order of Truman. "The policy needs to be changed, the policy must be changed."
Update XII: Senator Collins asked Admiral Mullen about NATO allies' policies on GLBT service and what has been the impact of those policies.
Update XIII: Senator Lieberman opposed the policy from the beginning and said that sexual orientation makes no difference in the heat of battle. Supports repeal.
Update XIV: Senator McCaskill asked whether we welcome service of gays and lesbians in the military currently. How will the military get their input on the current policy given that they are bound by DADT?
Update XV: Senator Reed again raised issue of gays and lesbians among allies in NATO. Does our experience in working with those militaries affect what we are looking into?
Update XVI: Senator Levin called Admiral Mullen's personal comments a profile in leadership.