While gay soldiers and veterans in Colorado react today with a mix of joy and relief that the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy barring them from serving openly has been repealed, Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family continues to express concerns. The Christian-right group’s political-action news outlet, CitizenLink, worries that repeal might impinge on soldiers’ freedom of religion and expression and that it could also further erode the shaky standing of the Defense of Marriage Act, which precludes federal recognition of same-sex unions.
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With the “Obamacare-repeal” legislation passed yesterday in the U.S. House, California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter has introduced the next Republican Congress repeal effort. Hunter’s “Restore Military Readiness Act” is reopening debate on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 17-year-old policy lifted by lawmakers in December that banned gay soldiers from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. Hunter’s bill, which Colorado’s Doug Lamborn signed onto as a co-sponsor, is already being criticized not as a true policy initiative but as a way to revisit the issue of gay rights and military readiness that generated sparks during the last days of the previous Democratic-controlled session of Congress.