Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a defense bill (HB 5136) that included an amendment that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the law that prohibits individuals who are openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual from serving in the military. As almost 80% of Americans favor repealing the law, it appears as though Congress is finally catching up to its constituents! The bill, which passed by a vote of 229-186, is a major step towards ultimately abolishing the discrimination that has been propagated by “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” since its inception in 1993.
The amendment as currently written would not go into effect until after December, when the Pentagon will publish a report on how service members and their families view the change. The language of the amendment also necessitates that the president, the defense secretary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that the repeal will not affect the military’s ability to fight.
As we have noted numerous times on this blog (here, here and here), “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” not only blatantly discriminates against LGB individuals, but also weakens our nation’s military by basing one’s eligibility to serve on a trait that has nothing to do with one’s physical or psychological abilities.
The bill will now go to the Senate, to be addressed later this summer. It will likely need 60 votes in the Senate in order to avoid a filibuster, so contact your U. S. Senator and let them know that the time has come to finally repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell!”