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Colin Powell Favors Repeal of “Don

Gen. Colin L. Powell, who as the nation’s top military officer in the 1990s opposed allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military, switched gears today and threw his support behind efforts to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law he helped shepherd in. Gen. Colin L. PowellStephen Chernin/Associated Press Gen. Colin L. Powell in December.

Gen. Colin L. Powell, who as the nation’s top military officer in the 1990s opposed allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military, switched gears today and threw his support behind efforts to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law he helped shepherd in. Gen. Colin L. PowellStephen Chernin/Associated Press Gen. Colin L. Powell in December.

“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” General Powell said in a statement issued by his office. He added: “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”

Robert M. Gates, the defense secretary, and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers on Tuesday that they supported President Obama’s proposal to repeal the 1993 law forbidding gay men and lesbians to be open about their sexuality while serving in uniform.

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