Iowa Delegation splits 3-2 on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal

The U.S. House has voted to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that allows homosexuals to serve in the military only if they don’t “tell” anyone they’re gay or lesbian.  The three Iowa Democrats — Congressmen Bruce Braley of Waterloo, Dave Loebsack of Mt Vernon and Leonard Boswell of Des Moines — voted for the repeal of DADT.  The two Iowa Republicans — Congressmen Tom Latham of Ames and Steve King of Kiron — voted to keep the 1993 DADT policy in place.

Boswell is the only veteran among the five Iowans who currently serve in congress.  He issued the following statement:

Boswell Releases Statement on Support for the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy in Defense Authorization Act

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Leonard Boswell released this statement following his vote to repeal the Department of Defense’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy after the Department has completed their ongoing internal review; prepared policies and regulations, and repeal is consistent with the military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruitment and retention.

“After serving 20 years in the military, including two tours of combat in Vietnam, I support the repeal of the ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ policy. During my Army career, I served alongside great men and women who, regardless of sexual orientation, were courageous military leaders that I trusted with my life and the lives of the troops under my command. The character and strength of a solider is reliant on their courage, loyalty, honor, and ability to do their job – not their sexuality.”

King (the Republican from Kiron in western Iowa) issued a statement earlier today on the topic.

King: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Repeal.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Steve King (R-IA) today released the following statement following his participation in a Capitol Hill press conference in which he urged Congress to reject efforts to repeal the legislative prohibition on military service by openly homosexual men and women. King was joined at the press conference by: U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA); Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council; Douglas Lee, Chaplain, (Brigadier General, Ret); Kevin Theriot, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund; and a delegation of Pastors and Rabbis representing congregations throughout America.

“One of the few things President Clinton got right was his decision to sign the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy into law,” said King. “To Clinton’s credit, he put the nation’s interests in military readiness and unit cohesion ahead of the political interests of so-called ‘gay-rights’ activists. Regrettably, it appears that the ruling troika of Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid and President Obama want to reverse these priorities.

“The nation’s military is currently fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not the time to subject our fighting forces to a rushed and risky experiment in social engineering. As lawmakers, our responsibility to our troops could not be clearer: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Repeal.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.