BOSTON (AP) — Sen. Scott Brown says he’s ready to back a repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military, but only if the battle readiness of U.S. forces is guaranteed.

The Massachusetts Republican issued a statement Friday saying he decided he can support the repeal after speaking with service members and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

But Brown said his support will come “only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”

It’s the first time Brown has expressed support for repeal of the 1993 “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

Top uniformed Army and Marines generals told a Senate panel Friday it would be divisive to let gays serve openly during wartime.

Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the military’s top uniformed officer, have argued wartime is the ideal time for repeal.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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