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Thread: Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban

    WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort to repeal the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, handing gay rights groups a defeat in their last chance any time soon to overturn the law known as "don't ask, don't tell."

    Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation, which authorized $726 billion in defense spending. The vote was 56-43.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, had been seen as the crucial 60th vote because she supports overturning the military ban. But Collins sided with her GOP colleagues in arguing that Republicans weren't given sufficient leeway to offer amendments to the wide-ranging policy bill.

    The vote fell mostly along party lines, although Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, both D-Ark., sided with Republicans to block the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted against the measure as a procedural tactic. Under Senate rules, casting his vote with the majority of the Senate enables him to revive the bill at a later date.

    Advocates of lifting the 17-year-old ban had been optimistic that the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress could overcome objections to repeal. The move is unpopular among Republicans, military officers and social conservatives.

    Gay rights advocates now worry they have lost a crucial opportunity to change the law. If Democrats lose seats in elections this fall, repealing the ban will prove even more difficult — if not impossible — next year.

    An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Although most dismissals have resulted from gay service members outing themselves, gay rights' groups say it has been used by vindictive co-workers to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.

    Top defense officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, have said they support a repeal but want to move slowly to ensure changes won't hurt morale.

    Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban - Yahoo! News-



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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    .. and Obama did absolutely NOTHING to push for it. No vote wrangling, no calls, no personal visits.. NOTHING.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ... so even when it's the republicans' fault, it's still really obama's fault
    (just yanking your chain, grimm)
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No, what the Republicans do is expected. We know what they'll do ahead of time.

    The democrats did nothing to get this passed, didn't force a filibuster at all, and basically rolled over. I suppose that's expected too.

    The court has already determined DADT to be unconstitutional, and Obama has a week to appeal it. If he doesn't DADT is dead and has to stop immediately. He will appeal it though. He's a shitbag.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Marines told a Senate panel Tuesday he opposed lifting the military’s ban on openly serving homosexuals, just hours before a Senate vote toward repeal.

    Obama’s Democrats in Congress are moving to scrap the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy ahead of November congressional elections in which Republicans are expected to make big gains.

    The Clinton-era policy allows homosexuals to serve in secret but expels them if their sexual orientation becomes known. Repealing the ban was one of Obama’s promises in his 2008 presidential campaign.

    But Marine General James Amos said ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and letting gays serve openly could distract Marines fighting in Afghanistan and disrupt unit cohesion throughout his more than 200,000-strong active-duty force.

    “I’m concerned that a change now will serve as a distraction to Marines who are tightly focused at this point on combat operations in Afghanistan,” Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a written response to questions.

    “In my personal view, the current law and associated policy have supported the unique requirements of the Marine Corps, and thus I do not recommend its repeal.”

    A critical procedural vote is set for later Tuesday in the Senate on defense legislation that includes a measure authorizing the Obama administration and the military to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” If the vote fails to get 60 votes, progress on the bill would halt for now, although leaders could try again later.

    Senator John McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 election, is among the most outspoken Republican critics of efforts to repeal the law. He asked Amos whether most Marines who participated in a recent Defense Department survey had voiced concerns about repeal.

    “Sir, I’ve heard at the Marine bases and the Marine input for the online survey, it has been predominantly negative,” Amos said.

    Debate over repeal has moved well beyond the military and Congress and become a rallying for gay rights activists throughout the country.

    Singer Lady Gaga released a video last week urging members of the Senate and her “fellow Americans” to push for repeal.

    The Marines have been the most outspoken critics of repeal.

    Outgoing Marine Corps Commandant General James Conway, who Amos would replace, said last month the overwhelming majority of Marines opposed sharing sleeping quarters with openly serving gays and lesbians.

    Conway and Amos both said, however, they would obey the law integrating openly serving homosexuals into the military if “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were repealed.

    Top U.S. Marine opposes repeal of gay ban | World | News | Toronto Sun



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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    LOL dude just doesn't stop does he.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    The Marines have been the most outspoken critics of repeal.
    Outgoing Marine Corps Commandant General James Conway, who Amos would replace, said last month the overwhelming majority of Marines opposed sharing sleeping quarters with openly serving gays and lesbians.
    Why? What in God's name are they afraid of? Being found out themselves? Obama's gotta make good on this. If his OWN nominee to head the Marine Corps opposes this, GET RID OF THE GUY and get someone else who doesn't openly practice discrimination.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    .. Brookie, he's nominating that person for a reason. He knows where the guy stands. Obama has done NOTHING for gay rights except defend the most horrible of them in court.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    So goddamn disappointing.
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    How Democrats lost ‘don’t ask’ repeal

    How Democrats lost ‘don’t ask’ repeal | The Upshot Yahoo! News - Yahoo! News

    The Senate shot down a proposal to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gay service Tuesday in a party-line test vote -- dashing the hopes of gay activists who thought this was their best shot to repeal the 17-year-old law, which is unpopular with most Americans.

    Now that the move has failed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to tack on the measure to the annual $726 billion defense authorization bill has come under scrutiny. Republican senators -- and two Democratic ones, Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln -- who are skittish in the heated runup to the midterms may have voted differently after November.

    Reid probably reasoned that Republicans didn't have enough votes to strip the "don't ask" amendment out of the bill, and wouldn't filibuster the entire defense bill for fear of being accused of hijacking military funding for political reasons. But Republicans turned that logic on its head, arguing that Democrats were the ones who were playing politics by not allowing them to add amendments to the bill.

    Even Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who voted for the repeal in committee in May, decided to join the filibuster. The vote was 56-43, four votes shy of the 60-vote super-majority necessary to advance the bill.

    Democratic Sen. Carl Levin said in a news conference that this was the first time senators had filibustered a defense bill -- legislation that historically brings together Democrats and Republicans. (Levin also said the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration proposal, would again be added as an amendment when senators try to pass the defense bill after the elections.)

    Here's a rundown of what went wrong:

    The timing of the vote gave Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among others, the grounds to argue that the move was "political" and unrelated to the well-being of the military. They argued that Democrats just wanted to fulfill one of President Obama's campaign promises before the big election, writes Mark Thompson at Time's Swampland blog in a comprehensive rundown of the debate.

    Four of the Republican senators whom legislation advocates were hoping would vote for the repeal -- Collins, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and George Voinovich of Ohio -- argued that Reid's decision to block Republican amendments was unfair and a deal-breaker. The Log Cabin Republicans, a group that lobbies for gay rights and the "don't ask" repeal, said in a statement that Reid displayed "partisan arrogance" in not compromising with Republicans. (Levin said that if Republicans had agreed to debate the bill, all amendments would have been considered.)

    Though both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs Admiral Mike Mullen have endorsed a repeal of the policy, the Defense Department's review of how it should be implemented won't be finished until Dec. 1. McCain argued that reversing the ban now would be premature (though the legislation would have given the Pentagon the final word on how to schedule its phaseout of the policy).

    McCain also argued Tuesday on the floor that the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Forces oppose the repeal, which puts them at odds with Mullen and Gates. McCain chastised Mullen and Gates in February when they said they were comfortable with repeal. "Your statement is one that is clearly biased, without the view of Congress being taken into consideration," McCain said then. "I'm happy to say we still have a Congress of the United States that would have to pass a law to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell', despite your efforts to repeal it in many respects by fiat."

    The coup de grace might have been Gen. James Amos, who is soon to lead the Marines and testified before the vote that he thought the new policy would distract troops who are fighting in Afghanistan.

    Congress isn't likely to wade into the controversy again anytime soon. "The whole thing is a political train wreck," Richard Socarides, a former White House adviser on gay rights during the Clinton administration, told the Associated Press. Right now, the only two people left who can drive that train are President Obama, and Harry Reid.

    Gay rights groups told the Washington Blade that they are already turning their focus to the courts. They said they plan to ask the Justice Department to forgo an appeal to the recent California federal judge's decision to strike down "don't ask, don't tell" as unconstitutional. The Justice Department has not yet announced whether it plans to mount an appeal.

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    To be honest, the thought of repeal makes me nervous after reading about the survey results.

    It sounds like a bunch of homophobes (hopped up on war-time adreneline and ARMED) would freak. It's too easy to hide hate crimes during a war.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    The democrats didn't lose, they killed it on purpose. They had to speed up their timetable thanks to the court ruling.

    As for any possible backlash, comes with the territory. You just have to weather it.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    and yet its ok to have straight assholes in the military that bash and beat the gays. i hate government.
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    Gold Member BigBen's Avatar
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    What the fuck are these people so freaked out about? Do they honestly think that ~the gays~ do nothing but have gay sex and try to recruit straight people into their hellish heathen lifestyle?? Just... what the fuck?

    I won't bitch about Obama because Grimm always has my back, but fuck Obama. Fuck everybody who lies and is a bigot and is ignorant and mean.
    "Not only do we embrace it, we take it out for drinks, get it absolutely steaming drunk, leg hump it and then leave it covered in shaving foam and a stolen Chuck E Cheese outfit in its own bath with no recollection of how it got there." -Kittylady on the sad and pathetic and strange.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Lindsay Graham is against the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell? I've heard Mehlman-ish rumors about him lately...

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