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DADT Stand-Alone Bill Passed in House

Yesterday, the stand-alone measure to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), introduced by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA), passed in the House by a vote of 250 to 175. The bill now awaits a vote in Senate, although Republicans continue their stalling tactics Joe Solmonese, the President of the Human Rights Campaign, stated, “the US House of Representatives said, for the second time, what military leaders, the majority of our troops and 80 percent of the American public have been saying all along – the only thing that matters on the battlefield is the ability to do the job.” The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained an amendment to repeal DADT, passed in the House in May but failed to receive the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to overcome the Republican filibuster last week. Both US Secretary of Defense Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen have urged Congress to repeal DADT and endorsed the Pentagon study on DADT released at the beginning of this month. The report included a comprehensive survey of military service personnel and their spouses on their views of gays and lesbians openly serving in the military and found that the repeal of DADT would pose low risk to military effectiveness. Seventy percent of those surveyed stated they thought repeal would have a positive, mixed, or no effect. DADT was instituted by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 and prohibits the military from inquiring about a service member’s sexual orientation, and also calls for the discharge of anyone who acknowledges being lesbian or gay.

Sources:

CNN Feminist Daily Newswire 12/10/10; Human Rights Campaign Press Statement 12/15/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/1/10