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05/27/2010

Breaking: House joins Senate Committee on side of progress

by Jeremy Hooper

229 Democrats and 5 Republicans -- Rep. Patrick Murphy's Don't Ask Don't Tell compromise repeal amendment passes the House:

Screen Shot 2010-05-27 At 10.07.40 Pm
(The 5 R's who voted yes: Djou, Cao, Biggert, Ros-Lehtinen and Ron Paul)
FULL ROLL CALL

Historic. Time to get EVEN MORE ACTIVE than ever before and get this repeal done!


*LISTEN:
The debate leading up to the House vote: (click to play)

*EARLIER: The Senate Armed Services Committee vote: Passed by 16-12 in Armed Services Committee [G-A-Y]

**HRC on the House vote:


U.S. House Vote Spells Demise of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Lawmakers stand on right side of history in vote to end ban on open service

WASHINGTON - Today the House of Representatives voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," paving the road to the end of the 17 year old law. This historic action follows a vote for repeal in the Senate Armed Services Committee and is a tremendous step toward finally ending the ban on openly lesbian and gay service members. It was the first vote ever in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the ban on open service.

"Lawmakers today stood on the right side of history," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "This is a historic step to strengthen our armed forces and to restore honor and integrity to those who serve our country so selflessly." [
SOURCE]

NGLTF:


Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"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"Seventy-eight percent of Americans say they want 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repealed, and for good reason: It is discriminatory, outdated and costly.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." [
SOURCE]

S.U.:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, today proudly hailed the passage of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act in the House of Representatives that would repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.

"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," 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." "All of us who have served under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and who have been impacted by this law will remember this day as the beginning of the end for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'"

Like the Senate amendment offered by Senator Lieberman (I-CT), this amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 would repeal 10 U.S.C. 654, the basis of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' after the completion of the Pentagon's Comprehensive Review Working Group study and after a certification is made by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the study's recommendations for an implementation management plan are sufficient.

Nicholson added, "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." [
SOURCE]

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