In a 250-175 vote today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. The next move belongs to the Senate. Unfortunately, although it is reported that there will be enough Senate votes in favor of the repeal, there may not be enough time to get the bill to the floor. According to the Hartford Courant:
No time has been set for a Senate vote on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Failure to overturn the policy this year could relegate the issue to the back burner next year when Republicans, who are far less supportive of allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military, take over the House and gain strength in the Senate.
The Washington Post reported that the House voted on the new bill first in order to allow the Senate to consider it faster given that it is now a privileged resolution that will require fewer days to debate.
“The congressional debate comes as the head of the Marine Corps told reporters that lifting the ban during wartime could cost lives.
“I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction,” said Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos. “I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (Naval Medical Center) with no legs be the result of any type of distraction.”
Other senior military officials have countered that changing the law during wartime is preferable because troops are more focused on survival than a colleague’s sexual orientation.”
Watch the news conference by Steny Hoyer on MSNBC here (It takes a moment to load and there’s a short commercial first, sorry).
For specifics on the vote itself, I refer you to this post by the New York Times.
Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.
copyright 2010 Irene C. Olszewski