‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal may be attached to 2011 defense budget

Barney FrankThe effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will likely come next year as an amendment to the Defense Department spending bill, rather than through a standalone bill, according to gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), reports the Washington Blade.

Frank said in an interview with the Blade that repealing the 1993 law barring gays from serving openly in the military would happen as part of the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill.

“The House will take up and the Senate will take up ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal,” he said. “That will again, like hate crimes, even more so, will have to be done, I believe, in the context of the defense authorization. You can’t do the standalone bill. It belongs in the defense authorization.”

Frank said lawmakers would seek to amend the defense measure to include a provision repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Such a move would mimic the way Congress recently enacted the hate crimes measure.

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) is the sponsor of the stand alone version of legislation in the House that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

No such legislation exists in the Senate, although Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) has said he’s in talks with the Obama administration on the issue.

Full story at the Washington Blade.

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