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Barney Frank Wants to End Don't Ask, Don't Tell After Obama Makes Decision on Iraq

9:58 AM, Feb 13, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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At a breakfast this morning sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Congressman Barney Frank said he would like to implement the policy of allowing gays to openly serve in the military sooner than he had previously indicated. Last month, Frank told the New Yorker that he wanted to wait until "after the troops get home from Iraq" to bring up the issue of gays in the military.

Does that mean he wants to wait until all of the troops are home? "No," Frank said this morning. "I want to wait until the decision has been made [on Iraq] not the actual execution of the decision. I think the president first has to set in motion what he wants to do with regard to Iraq. Once he's done that, we can go ahead."

So does the president need to set into motion any policies in Afghanistan, or wait for the fighting to calm down there, before he does away with Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

"No," Frank said. "Iraq is a particularly difficult issue for the country."

"In Afghanistan, he's got difficult decisions, but," Frank said, " they're not as politically divisive." Obama "may well be telling the military that he wants to withdraw at a quicker pace than they want. I think at this point he should focus on getting that decision made. It is of a different order in terms of the potential to be divisive." But once Obama makes a decision on Iraq policy, Frank doesn't see any reason to keep the president and Congress from pushing for gays in the military.