Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News

House Passes 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Amendment 234-194


The House of Representatives voted 234-194 to approve an amendment repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". The amendment will be attached to the 2011 Department of Defense Authorization Bill.

Five Republicans, Charles Djou (Hawaii), Joseph Cao (Louisiana), Judy Biggert (Illinois), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida) and Ron Paul (Texas), joined Democrats in approving the measure.

The NYT: "The House voted on Thursday to let the Defense Department repeal the ban on gay and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, a major step toward dismantling the 1993 law widely known as 'don’t ask, don’t tell.' 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. It was adopted as an amendment to the annual Pentagon policy bill, which the House is expected to vote on Friday. 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."

Alex-nicholson Said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":

"This second victory for repeal advocates today in the House of Representatives demonstrates real momentum in the battle to finally rid the United States Code of the outdated "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law. We are especially grateful to the faithful and principled members of the House of Representatives who voted for this amendment, which fully respects the ongoing study, the Pentagon leadership, and the men and women of the U.S. military. We would especially like to express our sincere appreciation for the tireless efforts of Congressman Patrick Murphy and his staff. Congressman Murphy is a true hero and his courageous role in this fight will go down in history."

Belkin  Said Aaron Belkin Director of the Palm Center: 

"It was never going to be easy to dismantle the gay ban, but the White House and Congressional leadership have launched a process that will do just that. For seventeen years, taxpayer money has gone to fire Arabic linguists, doctors and mission critical specialists in every field and every service because they are gay, lesbian or bisexual. Today, the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee have said that prejudice cannot be more important than national security. Keeping good troops is good policy.”

Said Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Rea Carey: 

"Today’s vote marks a critical step toward closing a shameful chapter in our nation’s history, and toward creating a path that could end in men and women being able to serve openly, honestly, and to great benefit of our country. Seventy-eight percent of Americans say they want ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repealed, and for good reason: It is discriminatory, outdated and costly. The vast majority of people know that it is wrong to discriminate against patriotic men and women willing to risk their lives by serving in the military. Thousands of qualified service members have already been drummed out of the military for nothing other than bias and prejudice, and thousands more live in fear of losing their military careers. “While this is an important step toward ending an unjust law, we continue to call for clear assurances of protection, a specific timeline for repeal implementation, and an immediate halt to the discharges. The lives and livelihoods of dedicated service members hang in the balance.”

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  1. Awesome!

    Posted by: jersey | May 27, 2010 10:17:06 PM

  2. Commence requiste bitching in 3, 2, 1....

    Posted by: sugarrhill | May 27, 2010 10:18:38 PM

  3. This is one of the most significant days in gay history in the United States. We should all be proud to be gay Americans tonight. Perhaps the negative thinkers amongst us will refrain from bitching tonight.

    Posted by: JimSur212Jim | May 27, 2010 10:22:11 PM

  4. Okay, I'll bitch. Does it bug anyone else that we're treated like little pets? That we have to wait for the superior, 1st class citizens to "study" whether discriminating against da homosexuals is something they might, begrudgingly, stop doing? Sometimes, I wish I had quit ballet class in favor of doing some kick ass kah-rah-tay like my dad wanted me to do. I am a gay superhero!

    Posted by: Tom | May 27, 2010 10:24:30 PM

  5. Pelosi delivered a 40 vote margin of victory. That is pretty impressive considering what happened with health care a few months ago.

    Now it is on to the Senate, with the "compromise" and GOP filibuster looming. Still, lets not ruin the moment by talking too much about that tonight.

    This is a significant win.

    Posted by: John | May 27, 2010 10:29:34 PM

  6. Thank God the House did its part on this issue. However, I can't wait to find out if my Congressman Chet Edwards (D-TX) voted for or against this amendment. The last I read was that he was against it. Typical stance from the Congressman on gay rights issues even though he's a huge supporter of the military, especially since Fort Hood and the resurgent Waco VA Hospital are in this district.

    Posted by: Texas Jaybird | May 27, 2010 10:31:16 PM

  7. It's not that impressive considering the Democrats hold 253 seats and they even picked up some republican votes. 234 means a lot more democrats than I expected voted against it.

    Posted by: Mike C. | May 27, 2010 10:31:53 PM

  8. one small step for giant step for America anyway.....

    Posted by: Chriss | May 27, 2010 10:38:19 PM

  9. FUCK YEAH! While it's really stupid that this whole study has to take place - it is at least giving the "go-ahead" to get rid of it, post the study.

    my only hope is that somewhere, somehow between now and then that someone, somewhere doesn't change this amendment and say, "nope, sorry, we're going to keep it as is."

    Posted by: some guy | May 27, 2010 10:44:06 PM

  10. Now reinstate the Pensions for those gay men & women who served and were kicked to the cur.

    Posted by: LG Wilson | May 27, 2010 10:44:34 PM

  11. It comes 36 years too late for me, but congrats to my brothers and sisters in the American military! Serve proudly. I was the first military guy to be discharged for being gay and NOT have a code attached to my discharge stating that as the reason for my honorable discharge during wartime.

    Posted by: john | May 27, 2010 10:53:14 PM

  12. I'll believe it if I see it repealed by March 2011. I have NO doubt that there will be more stalling and a very strong attempt to derail this shortly after the midterm elections.

    If it is truly repealed 60 days after the "study" is complete, THEN you can call me out for bitching and moaning and not trusting that this is as monumental as it may now seem.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 27, 2010 10:54:27 PM

  13. Hats off to Pelosi!! The most effective speaker in decades (and by FAR the most pro-gay high ranking official in history)

    Posted by: George | May 27, 2010 11:02:07 PM

  14. "It's not that impressive considering the Democrats hold 253 seats and they even picked up some republican votes. 234 means a lot more democrats than I expected voted against it."

    234 people on our side is impressive, and we should reward the 229 Democrats and 5 Republicans for their work and now hold them to their promise. Everyone who is on record supporting repeal can be held accountable. We don't have to play victim here.

    Good news becomes monumental news when the repeal is finalized, and if it isn't done in a timely manner we should call THEM out, including Obama, for promises unfulfilled.

    As for the 168 Repub's and 26 Dem's who voted against us, everyone in their districts needs to let them know that you are looking for a more pro-gay candidate and that you intend to support the candidate who fulfills that role. And, yes, hats of to Nancy Pelosi for doing her part to move this forward.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 27, 2010 11:26:28 PM

  15. Hats off to Patrick Murphy who championed this bill.

    Posted by: steve | May 27, 2010 11:30:24 PM

  16. It's only worth being celebratory if it passes the senate, and that vile lying snake mccain and scumpany intend to filibsuter. Then, "praise" and niceties should only occur when repeal is implemented...perhaps in december.

    Posted by: TANK | May 28, 2010 12:04:32 AM

  17. This is all a sham so Obama can get cover and "the good gays" continue to support the gays despite their insult to our intelligence.

    Remember, until Obama signs legislation ending DADT, continue with:




    "Until the Democratic Congress passes, and President Obama signs, legislation enacting ENDA, repealing DADT, and repealing DOMA, we ask you to join us in pledging to postpone contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, and the Obama campaign. This temporary (we hope) boycott is sponsored by AMERICAblog, and cosponsored by Daily Kos, Michelangelo Signorile, and Paul Sousa, among others."

    The Gaytm is STILL closed!

    Posted by: FunMe | May 28, 2010 12:06:13 AM

  18. Damn! Alexander Nicholson can interrogate me any time he wants! Woof!

    Posted by: Matt | May 28, 2010 12:42:34 AM

  19. This is truly momentous. (And still I am truly distracted by Alexander Nicholson's photo. Gah.)

    Posted by: virtualdespot | May 28, 2010 1:00:35 AM


    All this means is for gays to shut up until after the November elections. Then, it will be reviewed for another 60 days. Then, we have to wait until all guidelines set forth are met. In otherwords, it may be years (if at all, since it will be up to the Pentagon to decide when, how, & if they will implement it).

    In the meantime, discharges will continue. Nothing has really changed. If they wanted to make a real statement, they would have put a moratorium on discharges. They didn't. So actually, this was just a political ploy to make it a non-issue for the November elections. This was to appease the rising dissension of gays against the Democrat party and Obama.

    I am looking at the reality. DADT was a compromise. The only thing that did was remove from the military contract asking if you were homosexual. They still discharged people from word of mouth that someone was gay, except it was no longer a breach of contract and dishonorable.

    Posted by: CB | May 28, 2010 1:47:39 AM

  21. Don't be a damn fool. Don't enlist. Don't fight. Don't translate.

    DADT is not repealed. If it ever is it will just end Clinton's codification of military bigotry in law. Since the christer officer corps is still in charge anti-GLBT and anti-female harassment, discrimination and violence will go on and on.

    The terrorist wars of mass murder of civilians against Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will go on and on until the US is defeated.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | May 28, 2010 4:15:34 AM

  22. Edwards of TX voted against repeal (H.R. 5136)

    Go to Thomas(dot)loc(dot)gov for a complete list.

    Click on Roll Call No. 317 (Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania Amendment No. 79) to see the complete list of how Representatives voted.

    Now on to the full U.S. Senate and then making sure the President actually does something to stop the discharges until the "study" is complete.

    Posted by: TruthSeeker_Too | May 28, 2010 7:49:51 AM

  23. Now let's sue for loss of earnings, diminution of pension etc.

    A bigoted discriminatory policy, that was never constitutional, has destroyed serving mens' lives. They are entitled to compensation.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | May 28, 2010 9:18:24 AM

  24. The issue of fairness is important. Though, really, to fight for equality in the wrong-headedness of war seems moot. The military does have peacetime uses, and for this all should be able to support and work for a safe, secure world. However, acceptance by those who would put our men and women at risk to fight for what is still truly an undefinable enemy with unclear motivations is just adding fuel to the fire. Let us really know what are we fighting for? Our "Freedom" doesn't wash as a reason. Free from what and to do what?

    Posted by: John D.B. | May 28, 2010 9:26:43 AM

  25. Some of us are bitching because we recognize what this amendment doesn't do. And it doesn't do a lot. This is a great mid-term ploy, but there isn't much in the way of substance to it.

    Posted by: DR | May 28, 2010 9:59:11 AM

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