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Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 12/18/2010

Senate votes to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 6:05 p.m. ET
The Senate voted decisively Saturday to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law, beginning the process of ending a 17-year ban on gays serving openly in the military and reversing decades of official military policy.

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.

In a statement, President Obama praised the procedural vote earlier in the day that allowed for Saturday's historic passage: "I am also absolutely convinced that making this change will only underscore the professionalism of our troops as the best led and best trained fighting force the world has ever known."

The president will sign the bill next week, the White House said after the final vote.

As recently as Saturday morning, Obama was calling wavering senators to ensure the bill's passage, a White House official said. The successful vote delivered a significant victory for Obama, who promised during his 2008 campaign to end the ban during his presidency.

Supporters of the repeal celebrated Saturday's votes, drawing parallels to the military's decision to end racial segregation in the 1950s and the admission of women to military service academies in the 1970s.

"This is the defining civil rights initiative of this decade," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group established shortly after Clinton authorized the gay ban. "Congress has taken an extraordinary step on behalf of men and women who've been denied their rightful integrity for too long."

The votes came amid an unusually busy Saturday for the Senate, which is also debating the New START pact and an immigration bill, known as the DREAM Act, which failed a procedural vote. Nonetheless, it was a banner day for Senate Democrats and, to some extent, for bipartisanship.

"This is one of the days where you really feel privileged to be in the U.S. Senate," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), the bill's lead sponsor. "There's been a lot of difficult times the last couple of years because it's so partisan to get anything done. But here we are, it came together. And it was bipartisan; we wouldn't have done it without the Republicans. We got something really good done. So I feel good about it."

Ahead of the historic vote, senators laid out their positions for and against ending the ban.

"Today's a very sad day," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a leading opponent of the measure. He blamed elite liberals with no military experience for pushing their social agenda on troops during wartime.

"They will do what is asked of them," McCain said of service members. "But don't think there won't be a great cost."

But Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) saw it differently. "As Barry Goldwater said, 'You don't have to be straight to shoot straight,' " he said, referring to the late GOP senator from Arizona.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who stayed in Washington this weekend for the vote despite needing surgery for early-stage prostate cancer, said "I don't care who you love; if you love this country enough to risk your life for it, you shouldn't have to hide who you are. You ought to be able to serve."

The law struck down Saturday marks the end of decades of military policy prohibiting gay men and lesbians from serving openly in uniform. The Defense Department concluded during the Reagan administration that homosexuality was incompatible with military service and nearly 17,000 troops were discharged during the 1980s for being gay, according to a 1992 Government Accountability Office report.

In an attempt to make good on a campaign pledge, Bill Clinton sought a change to the policy at the start of his presidency, but faced stiff resistance from top military advisers, Congress and the American public.

Months later, Clinton signed a law implementing the policy officially known as "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue," first proposed by Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), who opposed allowing gays to serve openly. Citing a shift in public opinion, Nunn said this month that he now supports ending the ban.

The procedural vote that made the repeal possible passed by 63 to 33. Fifty-seven members of the Senate Democratic caucus and six Republicans - Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio) - voted yes. Four senators - Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) - were not present and did not vote.

Supporters of the repeal celebrated Saturday's votes, drawing parallels to the military's decision to end racial segregation in the 1950s. Among those celebrating with the jubiliant Sen. Lieberman was Eric Alva, who lost a leg to a landmine during the Iraq war. A 13-year Marine veteran, Alva was not discharged under "don't ask, don't tell," but disclosed his homosexuality four years ago and has fought to end the ban ever since.

After a press conference Saturday, Alva pulled Lieberman aside and volunteered to help the Pentagon conduct sensitivity training with troops concerned about ending the ban.

"They're going to get over it," Lieberman told Alva, adding, "God bless you."

Under "don't ask, don't tell," more than 13,000 men and women have been discharged from the military because of their sexuality.

Even if the bill is passed this weekend, the ban on gays in the military does not end immediately, and military officials and activists continue to warn that gay men and lesbians serving in uniform should not make public declarations of their sexual orientation until the law is officially repealed.

According to the legislation, the issue would rest entirely with Obama and top military leaders, who must inform Congress in writing that they have reviewed the findings of a Pentagon study regarding an end to the ban and that the Defense Department has drafted the policies and regulations necessary to stop enforcing it. Those changes must not impact troop readiness, cohesion or military recruitment and retention, according to the law.

Once the written notice is submitted, 60 days must elapse before "don't ask, don't tell" is officially repealed. During the two-month window, lawmakers are likely to hold hearings to review the Pentagon's policies and procedures for accepting openly gay and lesbian troops, according to congressional aides familiar with the matter.

The White House and Pentagon will not set a specific timetable on ending the ban, and stress it will occur only after Gates and Mullen believe the military is ready to end enforcement.

For his part, Gates said this month said he expects Obama "will be watching very carefully to ensure that we don't dawdle or slow-roll on this.''

The speed of implementation could be influenced by members of the gay community, who warn privately that they will be less generous with their time and money if Obama is seen as prolonging the inevitable repeal.

Sarvis called on Gates to immediately end investigations of troops in violation of "don't ask, don't tell."

"Until the President signs the bill, until there is certification, and until the 60-day congressional period is over, no one should be investigated or discharged under this discriminatory law," Sarvis said.

Gates is not expected to immediately halt the investigations, according to a Pentagon official unauthorized to speak for the record.

Close military observers anticipate that the ease of ending the ban will vary widely among the different military branches and that the Pentagon may stagger implementation of the change across the military branches.

Combat Marines are especially concerned about the possibility of serving alongside openly gay colleagues, and Gen. James F. Amos, the Marine commandant, has suggested that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in deadly distractions. Several Republican senators cited Amos's concerns Saturday before voting against the bill.

"There will be plenty more skirmishes on this issue. This issue has been full of them," said Fred Sainz, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group close to the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. " We won't agree with everything the Pentagon has to say, as well we shouldn't."

Obama and military leaders had pressed lawmakers to repeal the ban this year in part to avoid a surprise ruling by federal judges who are hearing cases that challenge the ban's constitutionality.

R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, said Saturday that "open service needs to be in place," before his group drops its legal suit challenging the law. In the meantime, "we will continue to push for the constitutional rights of service members by any means necessary," Cooper said.

Eventual repeal may also allow previously discharged troops who violated the ban to reenlist. Michael Almy, 40, a former Air Force major, is among those eager to once again wear a military uniform.

"I can't wait to be a part of it again," Almy said Saturday.

Staff writer Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

RELATED: Federal Eye coverage of "don't ask, don't tell"

SPEAK OUT: Your Take on "don't ask, don't tell"

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 18, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, Military  
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Next: 'Don't ask, don't tell': Senate vote reaction

Comments

they just ended debate

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 18, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Can harry stop this nonsense now and actually try to do some work to get American citizens back to work now.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | December 18, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

They know how to destroy our military.

HOMOSEXUALS CAN CHANGE: Some homosexuals take female hormones to be that way when they should be taking male hormones to be what they are. I know homosexuals that have changed and are now married and have children.

Go to the link below and read what Randy, Kent, Carlton and others have to say about their change from the homosexual life style.
Over the past 15 years Randy has gone from a seriously liberal gay-identified man arguing with pro-lifers and mean Christians to a seriously conservative Christian-identified man attracted to women,supporting pro-life causes and contending with gay activists.
http://www.exodusinternational.org

Posted by: Bill1776 | December 18, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

This is what liberal fascists wanted to do in the lame duck session when no one was watching. No one has been a bigger threat to the American military than the DemocRat Party.

On the bright side...these are the dying gasps of liberalism. Looting the country before they can leave. No one will miss this congress...the most unpopular in recorded American history.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Would all the bigots please do us a favor...take a rope, tie it around your neck and swing from it! You lost. Thanks

Posted by: B-rod | December 18, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

lololol, bill1776's post above

Posted by: johng1 | December 18, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Fred Sainz is a liar.

HRC will rubberstamp everything Barack Obama tells it to rubberstamp because it is nothing but a sell-out administration lap dog.

Posted by: uh_huhh | December 18, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Ed O'Keefe, head of the Washington Post's Homosexual Department, has posted his 400th Homosexual Article!


Congratulations Ed O'Keefe! You have written more articles on Homosexuality than any other Washington Post writer!


Second place goes to Greg Sargent!


The Washington Post is not a news organization, it is a Homosexual activist organization.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | December 18, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

That's the end of the START treaty, and most likely the Democrat party.

Obama and his running dog lackeys appear willing to give up everything.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

They know how to destroy our military.

HOMOSEXUALS CAN CHANGE: Some homosexuals take female hormones to be that way when they should be taking male hormones to be what they are. I know homosexuals that have changed and are now married and have children.

Go to the link below and read what Randy, Kent, Carlton and others have to say about their change from the homosexual life style.
Over the past 15 years Randy has gone from a seriously liberal gay-identified man arguing with pro-lifers and mean Christians to a seriously conservative Christian-identified man attracted to women,supporting pro-life causes and contending with gay activists.
http://www.exodusinternational.org


Posted by: Bill1776 | December 18, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

_______________

Stop lying.

Posted by: emcglaughlin | December 18, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Way to go! The military again takes a leading role in ensuring the same civil rights they fight for.

The GOP Senators who supported this deserve special credit for their integrity.

Posted by: jack824 | December 18, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Will our politicians end the Pentagon’s 17-year-old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which bans people who choose to be gay from promoting the kind of sex they prefer when they serve in the military?

The Truth about Don't Ask; Don't Tell:
http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/don’t-ask-don’t-tell/

Posted by: Thinkpoint | December 18, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mama, Mama, hep me hep me! Thars a homosetual in mah barucks, an he gots a gun! An, an, an, Ahm sceered he might touch me and rub some uh dat queer off on me!

Posted by: TheDiz | December 18, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

DADT didn't keep anyone out of the service. It only required the gay blades keep quiet about it. Now they get to talk day and night about how important their nether regions are to everybody else.

The suspicion all that noise and hissy fitting is what's going to get the worst of them quickly disposed of.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 18, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

As a gay Gulf War vet who served pre and post DADT, all I can say is, it's about f*ggin' time.

P.S. John McCain, NoWeCant and Bill1776 need to chill out and get a reality check.

Posted by: trambusto | December 18, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Bill1776 ... people change:

underwear, socks, shirts, pants and shoes.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 18, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

To muawiyah: You mean, they get to talk about it openly just like their straight counterparts do?

Guess the straights will finally know what it's like to be completely grossed out by the guys at the office boasting about their sexual exploits.

Posted by: trambusto | December 18, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

trambusto wrote:
John McCain, NoWeCant and Bill1776 need to chill out and get a reality check.
-----------------------------------------
The "reality check" was delivered in Nov. Controversial issues of such import have a proper way of resolution in our Democracy. This is not the way.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The good guys win one!

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 18, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is truly one of the dumbest Senators.

He graduated from the Naval Academy very close to the bottom of his class.

He crashed numerous aircraft in his career.

As evidenced by his inane participation in the so-called campaign finance legislation of 2002 (McCain-Feingold bill), he revealed his duplicitous character and is the one person in the USA who bares responsibility for the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 18, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The people who were opposed to repeal who make some of these really horrible, ignorant comments should listen to themselves and think just for a second how mean, shortsighted, and backwards they sound. What incredibly unhappy people they must be.

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 18, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Don't know why it is such a big deal? Gays will still have to pass all of the basic skills and training.

Even if DADT is repealed... sashaying flamers still wont have a "sashay" mandate and they will have to deal with rough, battle hard men. Let the chips fall where they may.

I for one am sure that gay enlistment is going to drop dramatically now.

No special anything though...no separate facilities, no special or lenient service duty. Let them engage our enemies like anyone else and lets see what they are really made of.

Posted by: Straightline | December 18, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Senator Reid said, after the vote to advance the bill passed, that it is accordance with the values that founded this nation.

I didn't know sodomy was one of our founding principles.

Posted by: dave19 | December 18, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

NoWeCant wrote: The "reality check" was delivered in Nov. Controversial issues of such import have a proper way of resolution in our Democracy. This is not the way.
-----------
An act of Congress is not the way to resolve an issue? LOLOL It's called "representational government".

And if you think November elections were a reality check, you're sadly mistaken.

You'll find it a misfire when your TeaPartiers have to vote to increase the national debt as soon as they are in office, because your beloved Republicans have been cutting taxes for corporations and the very wealthy and funding two wars off of the books for the past 9 years.

That will be a true reality check.

Posted by: trambusto | December 18, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Senator Reid said, after the vote to advance the bill passed, that it is accordance with the values that founded this nation.

I didn't know sodomy was one of our founding principles.

Posted by: dave19

=================

But equality under the law is a founding principle of our country.

Whether you or your wife commits oral sodomy, dave19, is no business of ours. Please leave us out it.

Why do heterosexuals just HAVE to tell us about their sex lives?

Posted by: B-rod | December 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of special laws for outrageous minorities.

Posted by: tifoso1 | December 18, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Man, it feels good when we end institutionalized discrimination.

Frankly, I can't wait until my parents' generation dies out and their hate with them.

Posted by: reiflame1 | December 18, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Ed, your tally is a mathematical impossibility. A 63-33 vote involves 99 senators, yet you say that four (4) senators did not vote at all. Where is the roll call list?!?

Posted by: PattiFink1 | December 18, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Ed, your tally is a mathematical impossibility. A 63-33 vote involves 99 senators, yet you say that four (4) senators did not vote at all. Where is the roll call list?!?

Posted by: PattiFink1 | December 18, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

trambusto wrote:
1. An act of Congress is not the way to resolve an issue? LOLOL It's called "representational government".

2. TeaPartiers have to vote to increase the national debt as soon as they are in office, because your beloved Republicans have been cutting taxes for corporations and the very wealthy and funding two wars off of the books for the past 9 years.
------------------------------------------
1. I don't recall liberals praising George W Bush for signing the Patriot Act, two war resolutions EVEN THOUGH they were done through proper democratic means -- "representational government", right?

I wonder why suddenly the liberals have rediscovered the virtues of "representational government" during the end of a lame duck session AFTER a their worst political loss in 76 years.

2. Cost of Iraq war < cost of stimulus (the former was bipartisan, the latter wasn't). And the RINOs are going in 2012, along with most of the 23 Democrat Senators up for reelection then. Like I said in my previous posts, these are the dying gasps of liberalism. And they're going with plenty of kicking and screaming.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

does this mean an end to people's sexual preferences in the headlines and political agendas?

i hope so.

Posted by: boblesch | December 18, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

As a proud Marine veteran of Iraq and almost ten years in the Corps, let me call this what it is:

A good day. This is just.


(PattiF - you're gonna want to redo do your math. Too bad there is no delete button on Post comments sections, eh?)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 18, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bill1776 December 18, 2010 12:00 PM HOMOSEXUALS CAN CHANGE: re: that quack group Exodus.

Bill1776, are you a closet homo that wants to hide from what you are? Sounds like it. These Exodus people has been proven to be frauds again and again.

Come out, come out Bill1776, join the real world. You are queer, your are here, your uptight family and friends can get over it.

I'm just saying...

Posted by: donbsea1 | December 18, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

LOL, d'oh! Stevie you are so right! Thanks & my apologies, Ed.

Posted by: PattiFink1 | December 18, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bill1776 December 18, 2010 12:00 PM HOMOSEXUALS CAN CHANGE: re: that quack group Exodus.

Bill1776, are you a closet homo that wants to hide from what you are? Sounds like it. These Exodus people has been proven to be frauds again and again.

Come out, come out Bill1776, join the real world. You are queer, your are here, your uptight family and friends can get over it.

I'm just saying...

Posted by: donbsea1 | December 18, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Let them engage our enemies like anyone else and lets see what they are really made of."

You mean, like they are doing today? And have been doing for years? Ooooookay, then.

Posted by: jbs280 | December 18, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a bigot who is a Senator only because daddy was an admiral who saved his butt from his Navy screwups.

As to the rest of you so-called "patriots" who've wrapped yourselves so tightly, what next? Kick out dem darkies and uppity wimmin?

Bigots. Your white sheets are in the corner. Scissors to the right. Next to the cracked nuts.

Posted by: lmb02 | December 18, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"I'm tired of special laws for outrageous minorities."

Me too! I can't BELIEVE we have a special law for the outrageous minority of people who think gays shouldn't serve openly. Hooray for repeal, huh?

Posted by: jbs280 | December 18, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

trambusto ~ hey, I've worked in offices with homosexuals and there's no comparison at all ~ you only imagine that.

Bet you imagine a lot of stuff.

The difficulty here is private quarters ~ no such thing for the enlisted personnel.

People with private homes and apartments with their own toilet facilities really have no comprehension of the problem.

Kind of like that dumb cow woman ~ Snowe? ~ she's the one ~ think of her walking into an enlisted club ~

Too hard for you? Then think about Brown ~ think of him walking into an enlisted club ~ he's an officer. He's looking for one of two things ~ MARIJUANA, and he's gonna' bust you for that, or to mess around.

Oh, yeah, DADT stopped him didn't it?

Actually, it only stopped him from constantly talking about his nether regions.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 18, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

tifoso1: "I'm tired of special laws for outrageous minorities."

Then you should be glad that this law is being repealed - far too long have we been held hostage by the bigoted minority. DADT existed to enable their dysfunction. Bigots do not deserve special rights.

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 18, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: NoWeCant:

This is what liberal fascists wanted to do in the lame duck session when no one was watching. No one has been a bigger threat to the American military than the DemocRat Party.

On the bright side...these are the dying gasps of liberalism. Looting the country before they can leave. No one will miss this congress...the most unpopular in recorded American history.
===================================

Whoa, what planet do you live on? I want to make sure NASA never visits it.

Posted by: Trakker | December 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Trakker wrote:
Whoa, what planet do you live on? I want to make sure NASA never visits it.
------------------------------------------
Is that sarcasm or just your top of line liberal oh-I-cant-believe-someone-disagrees-with-the-righteous-me retorts? You must be the one who went to college.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

muawiyah: "The difficulty here is private quarters ~ no such thing for the enlisted personnel.

People with private homes and apartments with their own toilet facilities really have no comprehension of the problem."

Actually the problem is only in the minds of immature little boys. If you really have a problem with how other people spend their private lives, then you belong in the 5th grade, not the military. Grow up and get over it.

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 18, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

muawiyah, do you honestly think the military force that won WWII can't figure out housing arrangements? I guess I have more faith in our armed forces than you do.

Posted by: jbs280 | December 18, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

johnhunsaker4 wrote:
Bigots do not deserve special rights.
----------------------------------------
Exhibit A: A garden variety (stereo)typical liberal. Be prepared to be called racism/homophobe/bigot/heartless/sexist/xenophobe if you disagree with them.

On the other hand, never point out that these "liberals" have denied over 60 million unborn Americans their citizenship rights. Left-wing compassion...wayyyy better than "bigotry".

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I won't name names, but one of the posters here is particularly upset because it will be easier now for his wife to find a woman (maybe a Marine) who's more of a man than he is. Such a sad day!

Posted by: TheDiz | December 18, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

johnhunsaker4 wrote:
Actually the problem is only in the minds of immature little boys. If you really have a problem with how other people spend their private lives, then you belong in the 5th grade, not the military. Grow up and get over it.
---------------------------------------------
The legal system cares about that. It cares about discriminating against men in child custody and divorce cases (so much for "equal protection under law" right?). It cares about separating women and men in bunkers (why is that not a "civil rights" issue?).

You may have any opinion on such matters but to call opponents "immature" speaks a lot of your own maturity.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

To NoWeCant:

One who actually read my post and is able to form basic thoughts would see that I wasn't actually accusing or labeling anyone. I realize that pointing out the irony in someone else's post is difficult to pick up in text, especially for someone like yourself who lacks imagination.

But if it makes you feel better to label me a liberal, please do so. I imagine since you probably feel like you lost today (even though you didn't) you must feel the need to grasp for something.

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 18, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and for those of you complaining about gays "parading: or "telling us", if you can tear yourselves away from the Fox propaganda machine for just a moment and do some RESEARCH (I know, an evil thought when it's so much easier to let Fox do the thinking for you), you'll find many DOCUMENTED cases where the gays were outed by others. Such as "superior" officers doing improper searches, bigots reporting suspicions, things like that.

So before you people pop off about it being the gays "flaunting their sexuality", it's been frightened and misinformed people (like you) reporting on them, like secret police informants in a communist country.

Way to go, "patriots".

Posted by: lmb02 | December 18, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@NoWe,

I'm not sure that anyone who calls others "fascists" just because they disagree with him/her, or uses the weird pejorative "DemocRat" Party, has any leg to stand on in the immaturity department.

Certainly there are good reasons to "discriminate" in the ways you point out. Those can be debated intelligently.

DADT was debated. And one side has won that debate. This particular form of discrimination is over.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 18, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

NoWeCant:"You may have any opinion on such matters but to call opponents "immature" speaks a lot of your own maturity."

Again, I know these fine points are hard for you to follow, so try to keep up.

I'm not calling all people who feel like they lost this one (even though they didn't) immature. But people who get their panties in a wad and feel threatened by gay people are immature.

I actually think the vast majority of our armed services are more mature than people like McCain give them credit for.

O - and I'm rubber and you're glue!

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 18, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

stevie_in_gp wrote:
1. I'm not sure that anyone who calls others "fascists" just because they disagree with him/her...has any leg to stand on in the immaturity department.

2. Certainly there are good reasons to "discriminate" in the ways you point out. Those can be debated intelligently.

3. DADT was debated. And one side has won that debate. This particular form of discrimination is over.
-------------------------------------------
1. I never staked any claim on my maturity. But highlighted someone else who projected it on others. I cant help it if you don't see a difference there.

2. You're right, and intelligent ppl do debate on the right and wrong kinds of discrimination. However, demagoguery on DADT has always labeled opponents as bigots from the get go. Do pardon me if I don't buy the oh-lets-debate-calmly-now-that-I've-had-my-way BS.

3. Where? Unless you count a vote at the end of a lame duck session "winning" of a debate. I guess the debate should've been over on the Patriot Act, Iraq war etc too since they were technically voted on in Congress? Why were these issues raised in the 2008 election campaign then?

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The only reason DADT exists in the first place is to coddle/enable those who apparently rather proudly admit that they can't handle the truth.

Gays & lesbians are serving in the U.S. military RIGHT NOW and always have. Supporters of the DADT policy apparently believe that many of our troops are so fragile and so unprofessional that just KNOWING that a peer is gay is sufficient to render them helplessly unable to perform their jobs, and that lying builds trust, unit cohesion, and morale while honesty destroys these important values.

Historic day, looking forward to the final Senate vote this afternoon!

Posted by: PattiFink1 | December 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@NoWe,

Fair enough. Appreciate your willingness to cop implicitly to your own "immaturity."

The effects of repeal will certainly be debated. The effects will also be judged, factually. We'll see.

But I suspect that the country as a whole and Congress specifically will not go back and rehash DADT in any general, big-picture way. (That may not hold in small-picture, specific elections, but I suspect even that will be minimal.) Yours is not a winning argument in this country any longer. We have moved forward.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 18, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

johnhunsaker4 wrote:
One who actually read my post and is able to form basic thoughts would see that I wasn't actually accusing or labeling anyone. I realize that pointing out the irony in someone else's post is difficult to pick up in text...Again, I know these fine points are hard for you to follow, so try to keep up.

...But if it makes you feel better to label me a liberal, please do so.
-------------------------------------------
So let me get this right, when you said "Actually the problem is only in the minds of immature little boys" you weren't really implying that that opponents are immature? time to put down the Hamlet, Dude/Dudette.

And your picking an irony on a subject whose analogical counterpart was a "bigot" was supposed to a benign and random reference of no insinuation? Geez.

Finally, if it walks like a liberal, and it quacks like a liberal, it's a liberal. Too bad.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

stevie_in_gp wrote:
Yours is not a winning argument in this country any longer. We have moved forward.
----------------------------------------
You comment has been the boilerplate liberal response to every issue for the last generation. Thats all you needed to say to reveal the hypocrisy of the charade of debate, reason and inclusiveness.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse


EVEN WITH THE PASSAGE OF THIS
REPEAL MEASURE, THE LAW AS IT
IS, TITLE 10, SECTION 654, REMAINS
IN FORCE FOR 60 DAYS

For those of us who were very disappointed that the thin blue line protecting American National Security appeared to buckle, and BREAK, with this 63-33 vote in the U.S. Senate to cut off debate, and to proceed forward with a vote to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy --- the result of which is a foregone conclusion, as the Democrat Party has the votes for this, no doubt --- it should be understood, however, that even when this particular abomination is signed into law, that the CURRENT LAW banning homosexuals in the U.S. Military, Title 10, Section 654, WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR 60 DAYS.

Indeed, TITLE 10, SECTION 654, is only struck from the U.S. Code, after a period of 60 days, and then only after the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Secretary of Defense have met certain conditions. This means that there is still hope, that a bolt of lightening could still strike the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Secretary of Defense and knock some sense into them.

That’s right, in this legislation, the Congress is not voting to repeal Title 10, Section 654. It is transferring that vote, that decision over to the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and to the Secretary of Defense. These are the conditions that must be met before subsection (f) goes into force striking Title 10, Section 654 from the U.S. Code:

(2) The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:

(A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.

(B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).

(C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.

(See HR 2965 at Thomas.gov)

This phrase “the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f)” is to be interpreted as meaning that the Congress has given FULL discretion to the President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense, as to whether the service of open homosexuals in the U.S. Military is to become a fact of military life. In fact, because all three signatures must be present in the stated communication, it gives to either the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, or to the Secretary of Defense, standing alone, a veto power.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | December 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I think you're just grasping at straws now, NoWe.

DADT is dead. If you can point out to me how I'm being hypocritical in my general assessment of where the country is on this specific issue moving forward, I'm all ears/eyes.

(And judging from johnhun's comments, I'm gonna guess he may be one of those "RINOs" you deride. Perhaps unfortunately for you, on this specific issue, the are plenty of Conservatives who would strenuously object to being labeled "liberal ducks" just because of this particular and specific "quack." The quoted-so-often-about-this-it's-cliched Barry Goldwater would've been one.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 18, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I would also note, that in the text of this law which is going to be voted on shortly here, that there is nothing stated, no sense of Congress, expressing any noble sentiment regarding the virtue of homosexuals themselves. Again, see HR 2965 at Thomas.gov.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | December 18, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

stevie_in_gp
I think you're just grasping at straws now, NoWe.

DADT is dead. If you can point out to me how I'm being hypocritical in my general assessment of where the country is on this specific issue moving forward, I'm all ears/eyes.

(And judging from johnhun's comments, I'm gonna guess he may be one of those "RINOs" you deride.
---------------------------------------- -
Grasping at the straws? The only responses my arguments have solicited so far have been on my misreading of a play of words and intensity of my criticisms. Hardly a desperate position.

Your hypocrisy: Positing the role of debate, calling the end of the same (by this lame duck session vote..and apparently in the whole country) and implying the opposition as retrogressive, as if passing DADT can ONLY mean moving _forward_. Your chicanery knocked off all the legs of your "debate" when you played judge-defense-and-jury.

Posted by: NoWeCant | December 18, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bill1776 and the rest of you haters:

On what do you base your predictions of calamity? The experiences of other countries armed forces that recognize and allow gays?

If so, they have done it without a blip.

Posted by: ggilby1 | December 18, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"there is nothing stated, no sense of Congress, expressing any noble sentiment regarding the virtue of homosexuals themselves."

Why would there be? Just being gay doesn't make you noble, just as just being straight doesn't make you noble. I'm not sure what you're getting at, here.

Posted by: jbs280 | December 18, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@NoWe,

I'll withdraw the word "forward" and say simply, "We [as a country] have moved on."

Now, please tell me your arguments hinge on something more substantial than not liking one easily-substituted-for word.

(And sorry but lame duck sessions count. The thing got six Republican votes, five of which will be there next Congress. Don't tell me you're hoping it will be overturned.)

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 18, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

As a retired veteran, I find this debate interesting.

It's assumed that all members of the Armed Services join because they want to serve the country. What a terrific lie! Members join the armed service for many reasons, some of which are:
- Need a decent paying job with benefits
- Leadership training
- Educational benefits
- Health care (believe it or not)
- Travel opportunities
- Gaining a leg-up politically
Or a combination of the above factors. There are gang members in the military who joined just so they could get weapons-training. So that whole "noble" military member; you can throw that out the window.

"Serving the country" is viewed as a coincidental result of those items listed above.

That said, there's a reality factor in ending DADT I'm sure the vast majority of readers don't pick up on. That is, the military is not a combat organization 24 hours a day, year-round. The social interaction of its members is where unit cohesiveness is formed. So by saying "you don't have to be straight to shoot straight" is somewhat dishonest. You will learn the habits and traits of those you perform your duties with.

There's so much we don't know yet. What does "openly serving" mean? If it means having relationships like the one I have with my wife, it doesn't make a bit of difference whether my colleagues are gay or straight. We keep our business to ourselves. If it means seeing homosexual personal displays of affection (currently banned for all) and nothing happens, sure it's going to hurt discipline. What does that mean? Does "openly serving" mean just marching in a LGBT parade? Or does it mean getting on stage with another gay servicemember and performing sex acts? While some of you scoff, there may come a time when for a commander, the political risk may not be worth engaging in disciplinary action.

I know a gay servicemember who got engaged in a fight with her girlfriend, and both of them suffered serious injuries. Injuries that would have resulted in serious legal repercussions had they been involved in a legal relationship. Instead they got away with their episode of domestic violence through a lot of lying. Interestingly enough, if DADT had ended prior to her leaving the service, she may have been kicked out for the episode of domestic violence.


Posted by: pga6 | December 18, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

All you homophobes and bigots need to do your homework. If we're worried about inappropriate behavior perhaps you should look at the stats for rapists and pedophiles. Then maybe you might ask for a don't ask don't tell policy for straight men!

Posted by: ProudAmericanUSA | December 18, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bill1776 who ignorantly blathered:
They know how to destroy our military.

HOMOSEXUALS CAN CHANGE: Some homosexuals take female hormones to be that way when they should be taking male hormones to be what they are. I know homosexuals that have changed and are now married and have children.

Go to the link below and read what Randy, Kent, Carlton and others have to say about their change from the homosexual life style. ...
http://www.exodusinternational.org
-----

Complete and utter crud. First off you need to realized that the plural of anecdote is not data.

Moreover there is no reliable scientific evidence that any method to change homosexuals to heterosexuals works. None. You look through the literature on the subject and the only data you find that support your claim is very badly done case studies.

In grad school I did a very extensive meta-analysis of so called change therapies, looking at religious, Freudian, Behavior and Humanistically based therapies. I went even so far as to try and obtain the success and relapse rates from Exodus International and similar organizations as well as obtaining similar information from the psychological and medical journals. Not one of the so called reparative organizations returned any data. One sent a badly written promo brochure. I also interviewed several people who went through EI's program. All were still gay. Very unhappy but still gay. The best results I found were for behavioral treatments that used aversive therapy. At best those studies were only able to force the person to outwardly suppress any arousal. The subjects were still homosexual, just conditioned not to express any physical arousal. Moreover the few followups I found showed that the effect of any conversion were very short lived.

Secondly you cannot use Exodus International as evidence. The founders have admitted that it does not work and was a scam all along. All that organizations like EI does is take the money from desperate people and provide nothing but guilt wracked victims in return.

The fact is that gender orientation biologically based and cannot be changed. Any attempt to do so is unethical and quite frankly all but evil.

I am very glad that the Senate, and more importantly 8 republican senators found the courage to change a program that was as immoral as black segregation.

Posted by: larryclyons | December 18, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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