California Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein had very similar takes on today's release of a long-awaited Pentagon study that found that allowing gays to serve openly wouldn't be a big deal.
The nine-month review concluded that ending "don't ask, don't tell" wouldn't hurt readiness or unit cohesion and that many military personnel have already served with gays and lesbians without much problem.
Pelosi and Feinstein said the study should close the book on lingering concerns about repealing what they call a discriminatory law. (To see what The Bee's editorial board thinks about the study, come back to www.sacbee.com/opinion on Wednesday.)
This report from the Defense Department reaches the same conclusions that a majority of men and women in uniform and a majority of Americans have reached: repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' makes for good public policy. By doing so, we will honor the values of our nation and close the door on a fundamental unfairness," Pelosi said in a statement.
Pointing out that the House passed such legislation in May, she urged the Senate to follow suit.
So did Feinstein, who called the study "more powerful evidence" that it is time to finally end "don't ask, don't tell" after 17 years.
"I don't see how Republicans can continue to fight for this backward and discriminatory policy when a vast majority of our troops have expressed support for equality," she said in a statement. "The criteria for serving in our armed forces should be competence, courage, and a willingness to serve; not race, gender, or sexual orientation."