The effort to pass “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation as a stand-alone measure is gaining momentum with 40 bipartisan cosponsors already.  Last week after the Senate failed to take up the Defense Authorization Bill to which DADT repeal language is attached, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) led a group of Senators in proposing an alternative legislative strategy that would pass repeal language apart from the defense bill.  The new measure is S.4023.

The following is a list of cosponsors as of December 13:

  • Sen. Daniel Akaka, (D-HI)
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, (D-CO)
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman, (D-NM)
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-CA)
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D-OH)
  • Sen. Maria Cantwell, (D-WA)
  • Sen. Benjamin Cardin, (D-MD)
  • Sen. Robert Casey, (D-PA)
  • Sen. Susan Collins, (R-ME)
  • Sen. Chris Coons, (D-DE)
  • Sen. Chris Dodd, (D-CT)
  • Sen. Richard Durbin, (D-IL)
  • Sen. Russ Feingold, (D-WI)
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA)
  • Sen. Al Franken, (D-MN)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY)
  • Sen. Kay Hagan, (D-NC)
  • Sen. Tom Harkin, (D-IA)
  • Sen. John Kerry, (D-MA)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, (D-MN)
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D-LA)
  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg, (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy, (D-VT)
  • Sen. Carl Levin, (D-MI)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, (I-CT)
  • Sen. Blanche Lincoln, (D-AR)
  • Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley, (D-OR)
  • Sen. Barbara Mikulski, (D-MD)
  • Sen. Patty Murray, (D-WA)
  • Sen. Harry Reid, (D-NV)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-VT)
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY)
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, (D-NH)
  • Sen. Arlen Specter, (D-PA)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow, (D-MI)
  • Sen. Mark Udall, (D-CO)
  • Sen. Tom Udall, (D-NM)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR)

“The already large and growing number of my colleagues who are quickly signing on to this bill shows the high level of continuing commitment to repealing DADT before Congress goes home this year,” said Senator Lieberman.

“Like our closest allies, the United States’ Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” said Sen. Collins.  “After hearing powerful testimony from Secretary of Defense Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen, and reviewing the results of the Pentagon report, I remain convinced that the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,’ implemented under President Clinton, should be repealed.  And, I agree with Secretary Gates that the issue should be decided by Congress, not the courts.”

“The strong list of initial co-sponsors adds momentum to getting legislative repeal of DADT done this year,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “Now the question is whether the Senate and House will take up this measure quickly and get it to the President’s desk.  There should be no excuses for inaction. The one true measure of success is allowing patriotic men and women the opportunity to lend their talents in service to their country.  We’ll soon find out if promises made will be promises kept.”

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story