News (USA)

Senate panel approves defense spending bill without anti-gay amendments

Senate panel approves defense spending bill without anti-gay amendments

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week unanimously passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with none of the anti-gay amendments that were attached to the House version of the bill.

Among the amendments was an attempt to delay implementation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal by requiring all four military service chiefs to certify that implementation of the repeal would not impact combat readiness. Two other amendments would reaffirm or expand the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Committee Charmain, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), on Thursday said no member of the Senate Armed Services Committee even made an attempt to amend the defense authorization bill with the measures related to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or DOMA.

The Senate version also includes language repealing Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice — the long-standing military law classifying consensual sodomy for both gay and straight service members as a crime.

“By proactively acting to remove Article 125 from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Senate Armed Services Committee has also reaffirmed that it is committed to modernizing the U.S. military and its personnel policies, and to removing outdated provisions that have long been viewed as unnecessary and even ridiculous by military commanders on the ground,” said Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United.

The NDAA is the federal law that specifies the annual budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.

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