The longstanding policy prohibits gays and lesbians from openly serving in the U.S. armed forces.
President Obama has called the policy wrong and has asked the military to repeal it.
Opening a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Michigan Democrat Carl Levin called it a "discriminatory policy." He said other nations allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in their armed forces without problems.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen support the repeal.
Critics, including Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, argue that repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" could be a needless distraction as the U.S. continues fighting two wars abroad.
(Copyright 2010 by VERTEXNews/Newsroom Solutions)