Members of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States voted to rescind its previous call for complete exclusion of gays and lesbians serving in the U.S. military.
The association also rejected by a two-thirds vote a proposal to endorse the current Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) law, which allows gays and lesbians to serve, provided they keep silent about their sexual orientation.
“While our membership voted down a position supporting the current law, our actions fell short of endorsing the administration’s current position that would allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military,” said retired Rear Admiral Paul T. Kayye, ROA president. “No inference should be made as to the association’s position as we do not currently have one on this issue."
“The sense of the membership was that this issue should be resolved by currently serving military leaders,” he said.
Previously, ROA had urged Congress "to exclude homosexuals from induction, enlistment, commissioning and continued service in the Armed Forces of the United States." This was U.S. government policy before DADT went into law in 1993.
A revised proposal “to make no changes to the current law” (DADT) was also voted down. As a result, ROA currently has no proposals to either repeal or retain DADT.
The members of ROA may or may not elect to establish a position regarding this issue at its next meeting this summer.
The association held its national convention here this week, setting its legislative and national security policy positions. The conversation regarding DADT was only one of 48 issues discussed.
The Reserve Officers Association is the 63,000-member professional association for all uniformed services of the United States. Chartered by Congress and in existence since 1922, ROA advises and educates the Congress, the President, and the American people on national security, with unique expertise on issues that affect the 1.5 million men and women now serving in America’s Reserve Components.