September 21, 2010

Senate Republicans Block "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal

Politico reports today that the effort to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy went down to defeat this afternoon, with Senate Democrats and Republicans squaring off in a procedural vote.

In the face of a promised filibuster by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Democrats could not convince a single GOP senator to cross over and provide the 60th vote needed to begin debate on a defense spending bill containing the repeal measure.

This is extremely unfortunate. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is arbitrary government discrimination, pure and simple. There isn't a shred of evidence to support the preposterous assertion forwarded by some Republicans that allowing gay men and women to serve openly would somehow diminish "moral" or even the military's effectiveness. To the contrary, in practically all developed countries, gay men and women can serve openly and do so with success.

Tom Ricks of Foreign Policy offered a piece of sensible advice a couple of days ago, citing the unfortunate dismissal of three combat veterans under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Collectively, they represent almost a decade of combat experience, a big handful of Purple Hearts and Bronze Stars, service as aide-de-camps to general officers and as platoon leaders and company commanders in combat, and the investment of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. They have offered blood, sweat, and tears in defense of a nation that discriminates against them for no good reason.

This policy must end.

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