Sunday, December 19, 2010

In a historic vote, the Senate overturns ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., left, and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference about the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" bill during on an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After years of contentious debate, the Senate on Saturday voted to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that blocked gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

While critics, including Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, said the repeal would cause a deadly distraction on the battlefield at a time of war, the lawmakers backing repeal equated the vote to other historic moments including the end of racial segregation among troops in the 1950s and the decision to allow women to attend military service academies in the 1970s.
"It is time to close this chapter in our history," President Obama said in a statement hailing the vote's passage. "It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed."

The Senate vote was 65-31, with eight Republicans—Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, John Ensign of Nevada, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois and George Voinovich of Ohio—voting "yes." TAKE THAT !!!!!! Republicans
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