One day after the Senate voted to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- a Pentagon policy prohibiting gay troops from serving openly -- Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) warned that eliminating the ban could "cost lives."
Kyl, who voted against the measure alongside most of his Republican colleagues, spoke out on his opposition during an appearance on this weekend's edition of "Fox News Sunday."
"From a constitutional stand point, this is not a constitutional right or a constitutional issue as was the issue of racial segregation," explained the Republican senator when asked what's the difference between allowing gay troops to serve openly and racial integration of the military fifty-years ago.
Kyl suggested that the troops have one function, which is "to fight and to fight well," while potentially sacrificing their lives to fulfill the goal. According to the Senate Minority Whip, repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell could inhibit the process and as a result "cost lives."
Despite the criticism, a Pentagon study released earlier this month indicated that lifting the ban would not have such effect. HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reported on its findings:
The Pentagon released its much-anticipated study on repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) on Tuesday, finding that 70 percent of servicemembers believe the change in policy would have a positive, mixed or no effect. The announcement was accompanied by a full-throated endorsement of allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly by the study's co-authors, who concluded that there is little risk of disruption to the military if implementation is properly carried out.
Alongside Kyl, fellow Arizona Sen. John McCain also voted against repeal. Once a positive voice for eliminating the ban, he called Saturday "a very sad day" just before the Senate vote.