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'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': House Democrats' New Bill Aims Narrowly at Repeal

4 years ago
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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.

U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer"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 on Friday.

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.

Follow Tom Diemer on Twitter http://twitter.com/tomdiemer


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15 Comments

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Chris

There is no reason to remove this policy. Being homosexual is not in keeping with military tradition.

December 15 2010 at 6:50 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
JERRY

Who cares about a sexual orientation when you are being fired upon. All you will care about is that the serviceman or woman in the foxhole next to you has ammo in the military issued weapon.

December 15 2010 at 4:31 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Kevin Boyd

The military says repeal it...and the majority of Americans want to repeal it. but why do a few bigots in Congress get to stand in the way. it may take the Courts to make it happen. Good luck!

December 14 2010 at 9:56 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
tntitan123

It is over due to repeal this legislation. When 70% of the military service members say it time...along with the Secretary of Defense....it is time for all people to be able to serve without fear of being dismissed. This is AMERICA! It is a joke for someone to say they do not want to serve with a gay or lesbian service member because they are afraid they will be attacked by them....they obviously do not know very man gay or lesbian people....and is most likely a closeted gay or lesbian person.

December 14 2010 at 9:39 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
sfields435

Fred Thomas: Since 1993 over 13,000 troops have been dismissed from the military under DADT -- more than 10% of them DESPITE the fact that their unique skills or contacts (in intelligence) made them "mission critical". So DON'T TELL US, "with authority" that "there is no legitimate reason to cancel DADT". It WEAKENS our National Security & there is No legitimate reason to KEEP IT -- particularly when 26 nations worldwide already have gays serving openly, without incident.

December 14 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Fred Thomas

Having served 9in the military for 6 years, I can say with authority, there is no legitimate reason to cancel DADT. Seems only homosexuals insist on a loud speaker to announce their sexual preference. I did not ask, so why do you insist on telling me. Would it affect me? Certainly would if you put your hands on me as I would interpret that as an effort to make me, one of you. Not only did I not ask if you were gay, I also did not ask if you were straight, not did I ask if you had sex with sheep. It is not my business, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why you feel it necessary to make such an announdement. It is obvious to me that government and congress have too much time on their hands. Forget this BS, and get on to the business of governing.

December 14 2010 at 5:32 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Fred Thomas's comment
ss

You put that excellence. I wonder why our leaders dont understand. They say it causes Gays to lie. That is nonsense. It is a volunteer force. You know before you sign up that it not for sex. You do not have to broadcast your desires and regardless of what you think, normal people do not go around broadcasting theirs.

December 14 2010 at 7:15 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
bluewaterman5

Maybe we should worry about winning the war instead of this.

December 14 2010 at 4:59 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bluewaterman5's comment
wolfsonnydiane

what war would that be

December 14 2010 at 5:51 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
nydayzee

This is great news. The repeal of DADT SHOULD be considered separately and not buried in some other bill. Let's keep the issues clear.

December 14 2010 at 4:56 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
cruisedoc

IMHO, I think gays should be permitted to serve, and Indeed, we appreciate their service. Just keep your personal life personal. Don't tell your personal affairs & nobody will ask you. DADT makes sense to me. To be open could make some troops nervious, create prejudice, and some may even flaunt it. Keep your sex life personal, serve with honor, and again, we appreciate your service.

December 14 2010 at 4:28 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cruisedoc's comment
Debbe

Straight soldiers don't keep their personal life personal. I know for a fact, they tell their fellow comrades they got this girl, that one, all the while many being married etc etc, but you want the gay person to not say they like the same sex? Or answer back any questions asked of them, if they have a girlfriend or not, or maybe you want the gay person to lie about it? I don't know, I am not gay but this just doesn't seem right. I think gay people just like the same sex, they are still human, they still fall in love and all that but we are acting like it is something no one should mention, like it is a bad bad thing and they need to not say a word...like some secret. We need to find a better way to deal with this. I do believe the shower situation may need to be dealt with as since there is an attraction issue, we need to seperate that, not because gay people will be looking at straight, just because, as with women and men being seperated that will need to also, but not being able to say that you have a boyfriend, or what your type is and join in on straight conversations about love, I don't know, sounds horribly discriminative to me.

December 14 2010 at 5:56 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
jhinds6056

Does anyone really care except for a few regressive legislators and the two per-cent of the population that is blaspheming? I think there is actually serious stuff that this congress should be addressing.

December 14 2010 at 4:15 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jhinds6056's comment
tanirocker

Regressive legislators? DADT is as regressive as it gets. If you're trying to say that only 2% of the population is gay, you're wrong. This IS "serious stuff," because this kind of restriction is absolutely unacceptable in a free nation.

December 14 2010 at 5:51 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

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