House passes defense bill with DADT repeal attached

Posted on 28 May 2010 at 2:40pm

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives  voted, 234 to 194, to approve an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military. (Read our story here.)

This afternoon, the House voted to approve the defense bill in its entirety. The vote was 229 to 186.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted last night to approve the same amendment to their version of the defense bill, but Republicans in the Senate have vowed to keep fighting the amendment when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote. They have said they will filibuster the whole defense bill to try and kill DADT repeal.

Even if the amendment passes in the Senate, too, the policy will not be immediately repealed, thanks to a compromise requiring implementation of the repeal to wait until the Pentagon completes a study on its impact — expected in December. Then the president, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would have to certify that the repeal wouldn’t hurt military readiness.

THEN, when all those hoops are jumped through, there would be a 60-day waiting period before the policy is actually repealed.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, while applauding the compromise that got the positive votes in the House and in the Senate committee, are warning closeted servicemembers not to come out because they can still be fired under DADT.

Read the warning at SLDN.org/StillAtRisk.

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