POSTED: 2:53 p.m. HST, Dec 1, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 3:17 p.m. HST, Dec 1, 2010
U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka are calling for the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars openly gay people from serving in the armed services.
In a statement Wednesday, Inouye said a Pentagon study released Tuesday summarized abundant reasons to end the policy. He notes that military and civilian leaders almost unanimously oppose it.
The senator says it's time to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. A decorated veteran who lost an arm during World War II, Inouye says he fought alongside gay men who were killed in combat. Inouye has long backed repeal of the policy.
In the Senate Armed Services Committee in May, Akaka voted to repeal the policy pending completion of the Pentagon survey and certification by the president and Pentagon leadership, his office said.
"The Pentagon report shows that a large majority of our troops support the repeal of this policy, and that our military can implement this change while maintaining a high level of readiness needed to defend our nation," Akaka said in a statement Wednesday. "This repeal will bring us another step towards equality in the United States. I look forward to working on the Armed Services Committee to ensure that our military is strengthened by this change."
Also on Wednesday, state Democratic Party Chairman Dante Carpenter issued a statement opposing the policy.