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Debates Begin On Military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy

Last updated on Friday, May 28, 2010

(UNDATED) - The house has begun debate on a move to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule on gay service-members.

President Obama promised repeal during the 2008 campaign.

The Pentagon had been studying whether to recommend abolishing the rule, with a report due in December.

Under a compromise among the Defense Department, the White House and Congress, Representative Patrick Murphy's (D-Pennsylvania) amendment would repeal the rule, but set no firm date for the military to comply.

Representative Andre Carson (D-Indiana) says the rule does too much harm for whatever theoretical benefit it may supply.

Most Republicans, including Indiana Representative Dan Burton, oppose the change.

Burton says the 17-year-old regulation works well when commanders follow its intent of barring inquiries into troops' sexual orientation.

He says top brass at the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy have warned it's the wrong time to change the rule.

The amendment is attached to a defense spending authorization bill.

A vote is expected Thursday or Friday.

President Bill Clinton established the rule to replace the military's outright ban on gay service-members.

Supporters of repeal argue gays should be able to serve openly.

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