UPDATED 5:30pm: High-Ranking El Pasoans Support Repeal Of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
POSTED: Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 6:26pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 17, 2010 - 4:21pm
EL PASO - A controversial policy that kicks gays out of the military may soon be voted away, and some high-ranking El Pasoans seem to be okay with that.
Gay soldiers may soon not have to live in the shadows of the U.S. military. Wednesday the House passed another attempt to repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy.
"I stood up proud and I said I was a gay man in the U.S. military, and I wanted to serve proudly,"Jose Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez says he was discharged from the Navy after he was outed by a hospital and fellow soldiers. That's why he's happy the repeal is gaining support in El Paso, a huge military community.
Representative Silvestre Reyes supported the repeal saying soldiers are entitled to the same freedoms that all Americans enjoy in the workplace.
So what does the Commander of Fort Bliss think? We asked him in a public chat on the El Paso Times website. He replied, "In talking to our soldiers, I do not think that repealing don't ask, don't tell will be a big deal... Personally, I have always been against bigotry and discrimination."
"It's exciting to know that they feel that way. Many more generals feel the the same way, but to know here in Fort Bliss, here in my city he supports the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, I'm excited," Rodriguez said.
Those who support 'don't ask, don't tell' say the repeal will only hurt the U.S. military in a time of war. It's now up to the Senate to decide if that's a valid concern.
EL PASO - The house passed a repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy yesterday with the support of Representative Silvestre Reyes.
In a statement to NewsChannel 9 Reyes said "As a combat veteran, I strongly believe that soldiers fighting for the freedoms of all Americans are entitled to the same freedoms that all Americans enjoy in the workplace."
Today in a public chat on ElPasoTimes.com we asked Fort Bliss Commander Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard what he thinks about the repeal. He said, "In talking to our Soldiers, I do not think that repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell will be a big deal. The Army has often been on the leading edge of social change in our society. My father joined an Army in 1950 that had only integrated two years earlier. Personally, I have always been against bigotry and discrimination."
People against the measure have argued repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell could lead to problems within the U.S. Military.
We are working on talking with a local man discharged by the Navy because of the controversial policy. See the interview at 5, 6 and 10pm!