Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the egregious, immoral, outdated, self-defeating, wildly unpopular policy known as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” The vote on Patrick Murphy’s amendment was 234-194, with the Virginia delegation breakout is as follows:
Yes on Repealing DADT
No on Repealing DADT
Sadly, it’s not surprising that almost every Republican – aka, “the party of no” – voted against this long-overdue anti-discrimination amendment. Fortunately, Democrats control Congress and the White House, so this will almost certainly become law, but no thanks to the “red team.” Oh, and note the Republican “moderate” who voted to continue discrimination against gays and lesbians in our military? That’s right, our pal Frank Wolf, who hasn’t been a real “moderate” in many years, even though a lot of people in the 10th CD continue to think he is.
P.S. Thanks to the 5 Virginia Democrats who voted to repeal DADT!
UPDATE: Also, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to end DADT. The only Republican voting “yes” was Susan Collins of Maine. The only Democrat voting “no” was our own Jim Webb. His statement – which, needless to say, I do not agree with – is after the “fold.”
Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen have both stated that military men and women in all services and at all levels should be engaged as the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is reviewed. For this reason, in February DOD instituted a comprehensive review process that they viewed to be important in their roles as the senior leaders of the Department of Defense. The Obama Administration agreed with the importance of this process in its letter of May 24, stating that “ideally the Department of Defense Comprehensive Review… would be completed before the Congress takes any legislative action.”
DOD reaffirmed this position in a statement on May 25: ‘Secretary Gates continues to believe that ideally the DOD review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law…’ The chiefs of all four military services also concur in this view.
I agree with this viewpoint. I have met personally with the officials in charge of this review, and communicated my own observations regarding the comprehensive survey that will be a part of this review. I see no reason to pre-empt the process that our senior Defense Department leaders put into motion, and I am concerned that many members of the military would view such a move as disrespectful to the importance of their roles in this process.