The Miami Herald

Lawmaker backs off effort to fight Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings has withdrawn an amendment that would have prevented the military from using money to carry out the provisions of its Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

The Democrat said he pulled the measure under pressure from the White House and colleagues.

"I would, however, like to note that it is most unfortunate that we are not addressing Don't Ask, Don't Tell at this time," Hastings said in announcing his decision. "We should not be appropriating funds to enable qualified service members to be booted out just because they are honest about whom they are."

He took a slap at President Barack Obama, noting that the military has spent over $95.1 million on retraining soldiers because of the law.

"What is the holdup, then?" he said. "Last month, 76 of my colleagues and I sent a letter to President Obama urging him to take leadership on this issue and to work together with Congress to repeal this law. More than a month later, I have yet to receive an official response."




© 2009 Miami Herald Media Company. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.miamiherald.com