History Made: DADT Repeal Passes GOP Filibuster Hurdle 63-33
December 18, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—Finally, our gay service men and women are on their way to serving their country openly. Today in a weekend session, the Senate held a procedural cloture vote on the stand-alone bill to repeal the discriminatory policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and it passed with a vote of 63- 33. This is a history-making vote. Long given up as a dead issue after it was filibustered by Senate Republicans for a second time, when it was part of the defense authorization bill, House members passed a stand-alone bill to end the 17-year discriminatory policy. With strong leadership from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and the support of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), as well as a number of other moderate Republicans, the bill was given new life. The bill now will go to the floor for an-up-or-down majority vote, either today or tomorrow. And that’s expected to pass easily. The big hurdle was today’s cloture vote.
Repeal of the odious ban on open service was long overdue, as repeal was supported by a majority of Americans, Pentagon leaders, the troops and President Obama.
“DADT was made a law seventeen years ago and is the only U.S. law that punishes people for simply telling the truth. Since the law went into effect, over 14,000 gay and lesbian service members have been discharged from our nation’s military simply because they were gay or lesbian. An estimated 66,000 gays and lesbians are currently on active-duty. Twenty-three studies over the past fifty years, including most recently a comprehensive study by the Pentagon, have concluded the same thing: that there would be no to minimal impact on force cohesion or unit readiness by allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military. Thirty-countries currently allow gays and lesbians to serve in their nation’s armed forces.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) railed against repealing DADT to the bitter end, invoking the ludicrous remarks of Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, who said ending the ban on open service would “cost Marines’ lives.”
McCain went on a nonsensical rant, shamefully connecting wounded soldiers with gay service members.
“Today’s a very sad day. The Commandant of the United States Marine Coprs says when your life hangs on the line, you don’t want anything distracting it. Mistakes or inattention or distraction cost Marines’ lives. I don’t want to permit that opportunity to happen and I’ll tell you why. You go up to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Marines are up there with no legs. None. You’ve got Marines at Walter Reed with no limbs.”
But today the Homophobes lost.
The six Republican Senators voting yes on the DADT vote to invoke cloture were, Brown (MA), Collins (ME), Kirk (IL), Snowe (ME), Voinovich (OH) and Murkowski (AK).
All 55 Democratic Caucus members, plus, two Independents Joe Lieberman (CT) and Bernie Sanders (VT) voted yes on the cloture motion.
The same bill passed through the House on Wednesday by a vote of 250-175.
This is indeed a great day for the LGBT community, for our country and our military.