U.S. House vote on Pentagon policy advances effort to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’


LGBTQ Nation

The U.S. House approved a measure Friday that includes a provision to allow the Defense Department to repeal the 17-year-old Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military.

By a vote of 229-186 that split largely down party lines, the House approved a larger Pentagon policy bill that contains the repeal, with 26 Democrats voting against it and nine Republicans in favor.

The formal vote echoes Thursday night’s action, when the House approved adding the amendment to the Pentagon bill by 234-191.

Friday’s vote came hours after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told military members the repeal measure would allow a policy change only after thorough review by the Obama administration.

Since 1993, when “don’t ask, don’t tell” was introduced, more than 14,000 servicemen and women have been discharged because of their sexual orientation, and tens of thousands of others have voluntarily ended their military careers.

The Senate is expected to take up the defense bill this summer. Supporters likely will need the votes of 60 of the 100 senators to prevent opponents from blocking it.

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