Allowing people to serve in the military only if they hide their sexual orientation hasn't worked well, in part because it has led to the discharge of thousands of individuals with skills crucial to the war effort. It was encouraging to see the U.S. House finally vote Friday to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy — a change endorsed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — but disappointing to see that the 229-186 vote was so partisan. Not surprisingly, Reps. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, and Jerry Moran, R-Hays, took their party's line. Some Republicans argued for waiting until the military was heard from. But the legislation, if passed by the full Senate, would be pending the Dec. 1 completion of a Pentagon study on the impact of the troops.
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