Washington (CNN) – The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to overturn the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving in the U.S. military, passing legislation repealing the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The bill – a so-called “standalone” measure not tied to any other legislative items – passed 250 to 175 in a virtual party-line vote. It now advances to the Senate.
Statement from Rea Carey of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force:
“We thank the House for once again stepping up and showing leadership on this critical issue of fairness. House members who supported ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal today understand that the lives and careers of qualified and patriotic service members hang in the balance. They know, as do three-quarters of Americans, that this discriminatory policy is unnecessary, costly and unfair. This vote moves us closer to ending a shameful chapter in our nation’s history, and toward creating a path that could end in men and women being able to serve openly, honestly, and to great benefit of our country. We urge the Senate to do its part and pass repeal legislation. It’s long past time to stop playing politics with the thousands of patriotic men and women willing to risk their lives by serving in the military.”