House Votes to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The House of Representatives has voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." 168 Republicans and 26 Democrats voted against the amendment which is contained in the annual Pentagon policy bill.

The provision would allow military commanders to repeal the ban, which would permit gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time....The repeal would be allowed 60 days after a Pentagon report is completed on the ramifications of allowing openly gay service members. The report is due by Dec. 1.

A similar provision passed the Senate Armed Services Committee today. The vote was 16 to 12, and one Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia, voted against it.

Sen. John McCain vows to keep fighting the repeal: "“I think it’s really going to be really harmful to the morale and battle effectiveness of our military,” he said.

Also today, the full Senate "approved a nearly $60 billion measure to pay for continuing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq." The vote: 67 to 28. The House will now consider its own war funding bill which provides for even more money.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I await this vote. (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu May 27, 2010 at 10:37:50 PM EST
    In 1992 I was ordered to testify concerning whether two soldiers were gay or straight. Both were gay. I testified that they were as straight as I was/. Well, I'm not gay. They were my soldiers. I defended them and told the truth-- to my knowledge they were not gay. I also said that if they were gay, I would br happy to lead them into combat again.

    I was offered one chance to resign my commission about two weeks afterward, or be RIF'ed. I took the RIF, but I was reduced to E-4, not E-7. I was a major "awaiting assignment," and I was sent from command of a long range surveillance detachment (LRSD) to a field artillery battery as a firee direction specialist.

    From Iraq to spec-4. because I told 'the truth.' I knew both men were gay, but I couldn't in any conscience testify against either one. And I despised one of them.

    Don't tell me that military officers are robots. We do the next right thing.

    Congratulations (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:00:11 PM EST
    You done good there.

    What utter silliness this all is!!


    The consequenses hae not been (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:18:46 PM EST
    particularly good, but they were unavoidable. I could no more have changed my replies than turned into a frog.

    I miss it, though. I loved the military. I put iing, thoughn 13 years. enlisted to officer, Ranger School, Cavalry, Aviation, Officer's Basic and Advanced, promoted in the top 2 percent, frocked commander of a special operations unit in wartime... C and GS was ny next school, and following that a PhD... I was in the club.

    I did what I was supposed to, though. Cost? a life. I don't respect those who will not take a stand. With reason.

    It was the right th


    *thing to do. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:21:13 PM EST
    It's called integrity, or at east I hope it is.

    Good on you, jeff, for (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:47:17 PM EST
    doing the right thing and at such a high personal cost.

    In what way is DADT good for the military? Good people lose their careers, and the military loses good people. Trust is eroded. Suspicion abounds. How is this good?


    I was out by the time (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:57:27 PM EST
    DADT came along. It was EXTREMELY more lax than the pervious policies, which led to a lot of Bad Conduct Discharges.

    DADT led to Honorable Discharges. BCD or Dihonorable give no veterans' benefits, and preclude government jobs, also.


    yes (none / 0) (#25)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 11:43:19 AM EST
    +1 for the good on you

    It's good to hear whenever (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by mexboy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 03:36:20 AM EST
    someone choses to take a sacrifice in order to keep their integrity.

    Congratulations, and it sucks they demoted you. You are the kind of person we need more of in the armed forces.


    A true officer of principle (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 08:05:43 AM EST
    A very good leader and a wonderful human being, you are the best.  I thank God we have never had to face this in my spouses personal career.  It would have probably led to such consequences for him too.  I'm so sorry you took this hit.  That is what is so horrible about DADT, everyone can take such a hit simply because they care about another soldier who is being investigated for their "gayness".  You don't have to be gay for DADT to destroy your career...you only have to care about the people you serve with and refuse to take part in prosecuting them.

    Not exactly a repeal (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:41:14 PM EST
    All this does is give the military the choice of whether or not to end DADT. It does not mandate that it be repealed. If the Pentagon decides it doesn't want to end DADT, then the Pentagon doesn't have to.

    My money says the studies become endless. The military never finds that the time is right for repeal. And Congress and the President all pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

    If this is passed (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:42:45 PM EST
    the decision is up to the President. At least. . .according to Elena Kagan. ;-)

    Hopefully it works out. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Radix on Fri May 28, 2010 at 01:08:20 AM EST
    Although this repeals DADT, it doesn't include any non-discrimination language in it either. So Gay folk aren't out of the closet yet.

    Again the leader is behind the rest of the world. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 28, 2010 at 07:30:20 AM EST
    Our soldiers have been fighting along side the British and the other NATO countries for years in Iraq and Afghanistan. Have they had problems dealing with their gay soldiers?

    Maybe GWB was more effective in bringing the Evangelical movement into the hierarchy of the military than I thought.

    I think it has more to do with "habit" (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 08:16:42 AM EST
    Military folk are creatures of habit, everything in its place.  The change has those who are always frightened by change (a lot of the military) riled.  It has more to do with the black and white concrete change though.  In my generation we have dealt with people we know "coming out", now whether we continue to embrace them in our lives is a different issue.  But much of the military folk already embrace their gay soldiers in an off the record sort of way, gay soldiers are very vulnerable though to A-holes and we have no legal way to keep them safe and they remain second class citizens too if they must have straight people run to their rescue.  If they were first class citizens no rescues would be needed.  I personally think that the forces that fear change and the momentary ripples that the change will send through the entire force at first, hold more sway over this than military Evangelicals do.  And we have a bunch of hardened scabby old friggin farts in the Pentagon.  We can always find one Evangelical commander somewhere running his mouth off though.

    Once again (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jbindc on Fri May 28, 2010 at 08:26:02 AM EST
    Time for an oldie-but-goodie West Wing quote:

    Major Tate: Sir, we're not prejudiced toward homosexuals.

    Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: You just don't want to see them serving in the Armed Forces?

    Major Tate: No sir, I don't.

    Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: 'Cause they impose a threat to unit discipline and cohesion.

    Major Tate: Yes, sir.

    Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: That's what I think, too. I also think the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change.

    Major Tate: Yes, sir.

    Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: The problem with that is that what they were saying to me 50 years ago. Blacks shouldn't serve with whites. It would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... Beat that with a stick.

    More political games (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 28, 2010 at 09:44:36 AM EST
    I think McCain's resistance has more to do with his political survival than it has do do with military stability. When you flaunt God, morality and country, how can you lose!

    This is his chance to show Arizona Republicans that he can be as right wing as Hayward.

    I find the relationship between Republicans and the military totally baffling. Republicans have abused and mistreated the military for years and yet they still maintain the allusion of being so "for the military".

    yes a game (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 09:46:46 AM EST
    but he could lose.  that is why he is doing it.
    and it may not save him.

    Very good chance (none / 0) (#21)
    by mmc9431 on Fri May 28, 2010 at 10:00:08 AM EST
    I think he will lose. This is one election where his "maverick" reputation won't serve him well. The right will accept no one that isn't a hardcore advocate of their policies

    and (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 11:41:04 AM EST
    they wont get fooled again,  as the Who say.

    Then you don't understand the military (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 07:57:34 PM EST
    or its dyed in the wool until you die list of priorities that will not be compromised.

    at least one house of congress (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu May 27, 2010 at 11:01:49 PM EST
    does something worthwile for real people.

    The Joint Chiefs . . . (none / 0) (#12)
    by rea on Fri May 28, 2010 at 07:12:06 AM EST
    . . . have already gone on record saying that DADT should be ended.

    The Joint Chiefs in my opinion (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 08:24:13 AM EST
    agree on very little, but there will be a press release :)  I'm still giving this a 50/50 shot.  The military will fight this out, but the mission always friggin comes first and I'm sure Obama advisors have made this clear to our President who is always trying to please a Republican base.  If immediate repeal of DADT is deemed in any way to adversely affect the mission, the fight is on.  John McCain knows something, he knows who at the Pentagon is going to fight this and he gives away how it will be fought.  I'm pretty disappointed in him.  I figured that after he realized he was never going to be President that he would feel free to become halfway human John McCain again.  But nope, he is going to finish his life aiming for a hereafter in hell :)

    I think rea is correct (none / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 09:46:10 AM EST
    the JCs are onboard.  I dont think McCain knows anything.  I think he is desperately trying to save his political butt.  let him filibuster.  let him stop funding for the entire military because of this.

    Well, the various military (none / 0) (#23)
    by brodie on Fri May 28, 2010 at 10:52:11 AM EST
    Chiefs sure have an interesting way of showing they support repeal, what with the letter from them that recommends Congress wait until the Pentagon completes its own study --i.e., until a more conservative Congress is elected in Nov after which the Pentagon will then release its study.

    Thankfully, Obama's Chairman of the JCS is on board with repeal.  So it looks like the Commander in Chief will need to sit down with either Mullen or the other Chiefs to remind them who sets policy and why they all need to address any differences they have with it to the president or Mullen, and not to a politician in a heated political battle to hold onto his office.


    I'm dead serious (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 28, 2010 at 07:55:35 PM EST
    If repeal is deemed as getting in the way of "the mission" in any way, this will not happen for a very long time.  They will float it way out there.  I'm seeing 2016 and I'm not kidding.

    On top of that news (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri May 28, 2010 at 10:21:00 AM EST
    Today Time / AP reports that we suffered our 1000th military death in Afghanistan today, when a soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in the southern part of the country.