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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Congress To Pass Delayed Repeal Of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

UPDATE: The House has passed an amendment to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The amendment, tied to a defense bill, passed with 234 yeas and 194 nays. The repeal is contingent upon a Pentagon study and subject to approval by President Obama and military leaders.
WASHINGTON (AP)-- A Senate committee on Thursday took a first step toward ending the policy that allows gays to serve in the military only if they don't disclose their sexual orientation.
In a 16-12 vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a provision to repeal the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the only Republican to vote for the amendment to a defense spending bill, said it passed after "vigorous and aggressive debate."
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who promoted the measure with Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said: "It's time for this policy to go. It doesn't reflect America's best values of equal opportunity, and it's not good for the military."
Repealing the 1993 law, a priority of gay rights groups that President Barack Obama has pledged to pursue, still faces a tough road.
The full House is voting on an identical amendment Thursday and opposition is fierce, particularly among Republicans.
GOP congressmen cited letters from military service chiefs urging Congress to hold off on the legislation until the Pentagon completes a study of the impact on military life and readiness.
The measure could face a filibuster when it reaches the Senate floor.
"I think it's really going to be very harmful to the morale and effectiveness of our military," said Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee and a leading opponent of the repeal. LinkHere


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