‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Passes, 65-31

1 p.m.: A quick selection of media coverage of the repeal vote: Advocate: Repealed! New York Times: Senate Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Washington Post: Senate votes to overturn gay military ban Politico: Six Republicans push ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ over the top

12:30 p.m.: REPEAL PASSES 65-31. Senator Evan Bayh is acting as president of the chamber. He cautioned the galleries that “expressions of approval or disapproval are not in order.” Then he went on to announce result of the vote: “On the question before us, the yeas are 65, the nays are 31.” In fact, there was little audible reaction to the announcement. The Senate’s now going on to consideration of the START Treaty, a bilateral agreement with Russia on regulating nuclear weapons.

12:28 p.m.: There’s a hiatus in the roll call while the clerk negotiates some business with some of the senators. The floor of the chamber has filled up now—solons milling around waiting for the final votes and the official result to be announced. 12:26 p.m.: Legislative maneuvering and trivia. H.R. 2965 started out in the House as “An Act to amend the Small Business Act with respect to the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program, and for other purposes.”

12:24 p.m.: Both California senators have cast their votes: Feinstein and Boxer both “aye.”

12:21 p.m.: Still no vote totals posted here, and we’re not keeping track in our weekend blogging venue, but they must be getting close to finishing the second read-through of the roll.

12:19 p.m.: Republican Lisa Murkowki of Alaska—the write-in senator— “Aye.”

12:15 p.m.: John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, and George Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, vote “aye.”

12:12 p.m.: Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, two Maine Republicans who have broken ranks, both vote “aye” — for repeal.

12:10 p.m.: OK, now the clerk is reading the roll of those who have voted so far. The repeal hasn’t passed yet.

12:07 p.m.: One thing you can see on the un-dramatic CSPAN feed is Senator Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut un-Democrat, who has shepherded the repeal measure through the upper house. He’s looking downright ebullient.

12:06 p.m.: It’s true that we haven’t watched an actual rollcall vote in a while, but it appears that most of the Senate is not present for this first read-through. And on the CSPAN feed, anyway, you can’t hear any of the senators respond to their names.

12:05 p.m.: The Senate clerk is now reading the roll for the vote on H.R. 2965, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

The U.S. Senate is now finishing debate on a stand-alone measure to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Debate’s going on now (live on CSPAN2. Final vote is scheduled for noon PST.

(Earlier this week, the House passed the stand-alone measure to end the military’s ban on service by openly gay and lesbian troops. If the Senate passes the legislation as expected—supporters of repeal mustered 63 votes for a motion to end debate and move on to the vote—the measure will be going to President Obama. Repeal looks like a done deal.)

Related

  • Randy

    I am a straight 64 year old male who served in the US Army from 1966 to 1970. I am a Vietnam combat veteran who served a one year tour from Oct 1966 – Oct 1967. During that year, I participated in many combat operations. It never crossed my mind to ask if any of my fellow soldiers were gay, nor did I see anything which caused me to question behavior that may be gay. Upon reflecting on my tour after returning home, I still did not suspect any gay behavior while I was there. I belong to the VFW, American Legion, and Vietnam Veterans of America. In my many hours of conversation with members of these organizations, I have never discussed or heard mention of a problem with gays.
    Now there is a lot of discussion about DADT, and its repeal. Some reports I’ve heard on the news indicate that several high military officials feel that effectiveness would be diminished if some service members were gay. After having been in combat, if any of my fellow soldiers were gay, and now I realize that some could have been, I don’t see how that would be a problem for me. I noticed that all I served with had the same concerns as me. I am wondering if the current amount of media coverage isn’t possibly bringing homophobia into play here. If a person is in a combat situation, and I have been, what would make them think that a gay soldier would be a problem at that point? Are there concerns that a gay soldier might stop shooting at the enemy and run? I don’t understand how just “knowing” about a persons sexual preference would make any difference.
    Does anyone think that the gay soldiers who have served in all US wars affected the outcome or effectiveness of our troops? Like I stated earlier, I didn’t know if any of my fellow soldiers were gay, so obviously my effectiveness was where it should have been. It seems to me that the system works just the way it is. I don’t think that there needs to be some doubt in our soldiers minds about their fellow soldiers. They have enough to deal with as it is. Since we know that there are gay soldiers, are we afraid that one may ask a straight soldier to the prom?
    I know that there are many who would disagree with my viewpoint. I have no problem with that. In fact, there were and are many soldiers who have fought and died so that this could be written an disagreed with.

  • john doeskii

    Not well thought out. Tons of unintended consequences. For instance. This repeal will open the door for “Trans Gendered” soldiers. What barracks will they be assigned? Also, what about the partially trans gendered? Women who have had their breast removed and take hormones to be male but still have female genitial? Or men who take hormones and have breast implants but still have male genitial? Keep in mind that poor hormone maintenance dictates that when the artificial hormones wear off the previous chacracteristics return. Where will these creatures shower? Will female solders stay in the same baracks as “Chaz Bono”? Or would he/she shower with the men?

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke (Twitter: @danbrekke) has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at dbrekke@kqed.org.

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