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Senate Votes to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, congress, DADT, democrats, dishonesty, elections, ethics, goodnews, government, mccain, media, obama, politics, propaganda, republicans )

- 2709 days ago -
In the end, the contentious bill passed by a lopsided 65 to 31as 57 members of the Senate Democratic caucus and eight Republicans voted to end the ban. "This is the defining civil rights initiative of this decade," said Aubrey Sarvis...

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Kit B (276)
Saturday December 18, 2010, 3:59 pm
Great news! Finally! Send a letter to your Senator and says thanks. It looks like the phone calls paid off.

I am really please that at long last the GLBT in uniform can stop pretending and just be who they are.

Please send a card to soldiers not home during the holidays, a card will be sent for you at no charge.

Kit B (276)
Saturday December 18, 2010, 4:01 pm
Open letter from the president:

Moments ago, the Senate voted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed.

Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are.

The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one.

This victory belongs to you. Without your commitment, the promise I made as a candidate would have remained just that.

Instead, you helped prove again that no one should underestimate this movement. Every phone call to a senator on the fence, every letter to the editor in a local paper, and every message in a congressional inbox makes it clear to those who would stand in the way of justice: We will not quit.

This victory also belongs to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and our many allies in Congress who refused to let politics get in the way of what was right.

Like you, they never gave up, and I want them to know how grateful we are for that commitment.

Will you join me in thanking them by adding your name to Organizing for America's letter?

I will make sure these messages are delivered -- you can also add a comment about what the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" means to you.

As Commander in Chief, I fought to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because it weakens our national security and military readiness. It violates the fundamental American principles of equality and fairness.

But this victory is also personal.

I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation.

But I know my story would not be possible without the sacrifice and struggle of those who came before me -- many I will never meet, and can never thank.

I know this repeal is a crucial step for civil rights, and that it strengthens our military and national security. I know it is the right thing to do.

But the rightness of our cause does not guarantee success, and today, celebration of this historic step forward is tempered by the defeat of another -- the DREAM Act. I am incredibly disappointed that a minority of senators refused to move forward on this important, commonsense reform that most Americans understand is the right thing for our country. On this issue, our work must continue.

Today, I'm proud that we took these fights on.

Please join me in thanking those in Congress who helped make "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal possible:


Thank you,



. (0)
Saturday December 18, 2010, 4:11 pm
It's about time, geesh! Will send letter! thanks, Kit!

. (0)
Saturday December 18, 2010, 4:12 pm
woops, meant send letter of thanks, that is....

Kit B (276)
Saturday December 18, 2010, 4:15 pm
Thanks Rebecca and nice to see you around.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 19, 2010, 9:49 am
In a victory for not only Obama, but, more important, for civil rights, the Senate repealed the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy yesterday by a vote of 65 to 31. Since it already passed the House, the bill goes to Obama, who will surely sign it since it was a plank in his election platform. When it becomes law, gays can finally serve openly in the military. And about time!

Here's the official breakdown by party ("yes" is a vote to repeal the policy):


Yes 55

No 0

Not voting 1 (Manchin, WV)


Yes 8 (Brown, MA; Burr, NC; Collins, ME; Ensign, NV; Kirk, IL; Snow, ME; Voinovich, OH; Murkowski, ARK)

No 31

Not voting 3 (Bunning, KY; Gregg, NH; Hatch, UT)

Independents and other

Yes: 2 (Sanders, UT; Lieberman, CT)

No: 0

A couple of points here. First, the huge party difference in voting shows, as if we didn't know already, the huge political polarization in this country. The Republicans, like the Dixiecrats of yore, are opposed to civil rights for gays. This position is untenable, either strategically (in the military) or morally. And kudos to the eight Republicans who crossed party lines and did what was right. (I was surprised by Scott Brown's vote.) Not a single Democrat voted against the repeal, though Democrat Joe Manchin joined three Republicans in the cowardly act of refusing to vote.

Second, this vote represents the increasing moral arc of society—an arc that increasingly recognizes all humans, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, as deserving the same basic liberties. And this increasing morality has nothing to do with religion; in fact, much of the opposition to this bill, and to gay rights in general, comes from churches. Of course, some churches have been supporters of gay rights, but I maintain that they are following rather than leading the Zeitgeist. Moral improvements have nearly always come from secular considerations, and drag the churches along in their wake.

Finally, it's always baffled me why gays serving in the military is an issue. Why would a unit that included gay soldiers fight less effectively? Maybe a few people would be made temporarily uncomfortable by having same-sex gays in their unit, but I'm convinced that that would go away with a bit of experience. After all, the same reasons were adduced for keeping black and white troops separate during much of the last century (including WWII), yet now we see that policy as not only wrongheaded but immoral. It is experience with those of other persuasions that leads to acceptance. And that's the reason why the world is becoming more moral (see Peter Singer's The Expanding Circle).


Billie C (2)
Sunday December 19, 2010, 10:15 pm
about time. glad they did it. don't ask don't tell was always a stupid law.

Kristi H. (0)
Monday December 20, 2010, 4:56 am
Havent we got past this already?

Brittany D (28)
Monday December 20, 2010, 4:59 am
Finally! There was no reason for it, it was just plain stupid.

Kit B (276)
Monday December 20, 2010, 5:01 am
How easy it is to be impatient or callous about something when it is not your rights that are impaired but others. No, Kristi we have not "got" beyond this yet. It will take some time.

Esther Z (94)
Monday December 20, 2010, 5:01 am
If only the Dems had shown the same resolve and unity when voting for the Health Reform bill, and on other issues important not only for liberals, but also for our country. Still, a major victory the Obama administration desperately needed. Kudos to senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins for really fighting for us, and having the courage to vote their conscience. A big "shame on you" for McCain, for his obstruction and for repeating the same tired argumenst racists gave when they fought the integration of blacks and women into the military.

Jillian Bradley (7)
Monday December 20, 2010, 7:42 am
This repeal is a crucial step for civil rights.

Yvonne White (229)
Tuesday December 21, 2010, 4:16 pm

Jae A (316)
Wednesday December 22, 2010, 3:25 am
Ooooops, how did I miss this one Kit...duh me. Sorry about duplicating this one.

This was a great day for civil rights..for more than just G/L's in the military. It set a great example for how there should be equality in all things for all ..minorities have had their rights and liberties voted on for far too many decades now. It's time to move forward to change that and this is a start, a big one.

patricia lasek (317)
Wednesday December 22, 2010, 6:30 am
A milestone in American history!

Brenda M (133)
Wednesday December 22, 2010, 6:52 am
N'd, Thanks Kit. Wow, maybe we are growing up...definitely a step in the right direction!
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