A bid to have the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gay and lesbian military personnel repealed in the US Senate has failed, making it extremely likely that President Obama will not fulfil his promise of ending the law this year.
On Thursday, Republican senators voted to reject an attempt to bring the Defense Authorization Bill, which includes the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, to the Senate floor.
“I’ve bent over backwards, but it’s clear that Republicans… don’t want to have a vote on [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell],” said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, “and they’re doing whatever they can to stand in the way of this bill.”
Aubrey Sarvis, army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, said that situation was an outrage “against [gay and lesbian] service members and the more than 14,000 who have already lost their jobs under this discriminatory law”.
President Obama also expressed his extreme disappointment in the vote. “While today’s vote was disappointing, it must not be the end of our efforts. I urge the Senate to revisit these important issues…”
Following the vote, Republican Senator Susan Collins and Independent Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman announced that they will attempt to have the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal passed as a stand-alone bill.