From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and Carrie Dann
Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts, just announced in a statement that he will support repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
Brown says that he "accept[s] the findings of the report" issued by the Pentagon, which found that a majority of servicemembers believe that repeal would have a minimal effect on their units' abilities to serve.
“I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”
Brown, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, noted in today's hearing on repeal that he hopes that the service chiefs of each military branch, who have expressed some reservations about repeal, are consulted before the Pentagon officially signs off on any legislation passed by Congress that affects the rule.
He also said earlier today that a repeal by the courts rather than by legislative action would be "exceedingly disruptive" to the force, an argument made by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday.