Saturday, December 18, 2010
By a decisive 65-31 vote, the Senate on Saturday repealed the 17-year old, Clinton-era military ban on openly gay and lesbian Americans serving in the military known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Obama will reportedly sign it next week. The legislation says the president and his top military advisers must certify that lifting the ban won’t hurt troops’ fighting ability and after that, there’s an additional 60-day waiting period for the military.
The stand-alone repeal bill first cleared the House with a 250-175 votes on Wednesday.
The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” means for the first time in American history, gays and lesbians would be openly accepted by the military and could acknowledge their sexual orientation without fear of being discharged.
The United States now joins the community of 25 nations allowing gays to serve in their militaries.
Editor Note: I personally want to thank Sens. Kirstin Gillibrand, Joe Lieberman, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, for their tireless effort to clean up after former President Bill Clinton.