Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

Bishop Statement on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Washington, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-2) issued the following statement on voting “no” on the amendment of Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) to H.R. 5136 – National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011 to repeal the current Department of Defense policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:”

“I agree with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the time has come to repeal the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which dishonors men and women who are willing to give their lives in service to our country and also prevents capable men and women with vital skills from serving in the armed forces.  However, I believe a vote today is premature.”

“Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen indicated initially that the impact of such a drastic change in military and cultural policy should be thoroughly reviewed, studied, and appropriate policies developed by the Department of Defense before Congress takes legislative action.  Such a review and policy development would be completed by December 1, 2010.”

“Therefore, I believe Congress should forgo legislative action until appropriately informed by the Pentagon’s impact study, policy development, and implementation plan.”