As part of a $553 billion defense bill, the House Armed Services Committee last night adopted several amendments intended to affect implementation of repeal of the military's gay ban, including one from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA, pictured) that would "require that all four military service chiefs certify that implementation of the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)' repeal won’t impact combat readiness and effectiveness." It was adopted 33-27.
Chris Johnson at the Blade reports: "The vote in favor of the Hunter amendment was mostly along party lines, although Reps. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) and Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) voted against the measure. Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) was the sole Democrat to vote in favor of the measure."
Several other measures were adopted as well, Johnson notes in his lengthy report:
Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) introduced an amendment mandating that marriage ceremonies on military installations must comply with DOMA and that chaplains can only officiate in their official capacity over such ceremonies if they comply with the anti-gay law…
Another amendment came from Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), whose measure restated that the definition of marriage under DOMA as a union between one man and one woman applies to Defense Department regulations and policies…
Another anticipated anti-gay amendment didn’t see introduction before the committee on Wednesday. Palazzo was expected to introduce an amendment that would require conscience regulations for service members who have religious or moral objections to open service. His office didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on why the measure wasn’t introduced…
The vote on Akin's amendment was 38-23, Hartzler's was 39-22.
Said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former Army Interrogator who was discharged under DADT:
“Despite the passage of [Hunter's] amendment within the ever-hostile House Armed Services Committee, it is highly unlikely that such an amendment would ever pass the Senate and be signed by the President. The offering of this amendment was a shameful and embarrassing waste of time. The service chiefs have unequivocally said that they do not want this extra burden forced upon them, so if Congress really values their advice on this issue they should take it and forget this unnecessary and unwanted amendment.”
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