By Jess Bidgood
Dec. 3, 2010
BOSTON -- Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown -- the lone Republican in the state's Congressional delegation -- supports the repeal of military's so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Brown said he supported the removal of the policy -- under which thousands of service members have been discharged for coming out gay -- provided that service members are adequately trained and prepared for repeal.
Brown said he had arrived at the decision after reviewing the Pentagon study on "don't ask don't tell," as well as speaking with service members and government officials. But he also drew on his own 31 years of military service. "When a soldier answers the call to serve and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight," Brown wrote.
Read the full statement:
I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. As a legislator, I have spent a significant amount of time on military issues. During my time of service, I have visited our injured troops at Walter Reed and have attended funerals of our fallen heroes. When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor.
I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.