In a last-gasp effort to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military before adjournment of the lame-duck session, House Democratic leaders introduced a "stand-alone" bill Tuesday that would roll back the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
In a Twitter
posting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would take up the new bill Wednesday.
The House approved ending the restriction on gay service members earlier this year, but that repeal effort was blocked in the Senate
as apart of a broader defense bill last Thursday. Now Democrats in the House and Senate are trying again with pared down legislation aiming narrowly at halting the Clinton-era policy that requires gays to keep their sexual orientation private when they join the armed forces.
"I look forward to bringing this bill to the House floor soon, and I hope the Senate will swiftly take action as well so that the bill can be signed into law as soon as possible," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
(D-Md.) said. "This discriminatory and harmful policy has weakened America's security by depriving us of the work of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops who have served their country honorably. And it has severely compromised our armed forces' core value of integrity."
Hoyer joined lead sponsor Rep. Patrick Murphy
(D-Pa.), a decorated Iraq war veteran, as co-author of the bill. With time running short in the last legislative session of 2010, a similar measure was introduced in the Senate
The military has started to prepare
for the policy change, but a series of conflicting court rulings and the opposition of some Republicans in Congress has stalled implementation.
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