House votes to repeal DADT
The House voted Thursday night to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," the controversial policy barring openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military.
The measure -- an amendment to a defense policy bill -- passed 234 to 194, delivering a major victory to gay rights activists who have opposed the Pentagon policy since it was enacted in 1993. It also marks the most aggressive step by Democrats in implementing President Obama's campaign pledge to end the policy.
The legislation includes a provision ensuring that no change would take effect until the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops, due to Congress Dec. 1. It also requires that a policy change would not affect the military's ability to fight wars or recruit soldiers.
Democrats pushed ahead on the issue over the objections of some key military leaders, who said Congress should have waited to vote until the study is complete.
Twenty-six Democrats voted against the amendment, while five Republicans voted for it.
Earlier Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee also voted to change the policy, on a 16 to 12 vote. Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) joined 11 Republicans in opposing the change, while Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted with the Democrats. The full Senate is likely to consider the issue next month.
Bravo to Speaker Pelosi, the House Democrats, and those five House Republicans. And here's a boo to Sen. Webb and a cheer to Sen. Collins. Next up: Sen. McCain's filibuster. Since every argument in support of the military gay ban is a fabrication, expect a lot of angry lies and claims that everyone who disagrees with him is trying to destroy America. Whatever. Say goodnight, Senator.