Senate Taking Up Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Next Week, With Strings Attached

In an effort to upstage Lady Gaga’s commentary on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the US Senate has announced via Harry Reid that it plans to finally do what it has been talking about for months, and bring the bill that includes the issue of a DADT repeal to the Senate floor for debate. The bill in question deals primarily with military spending; DADT was bundled into it later on, and its inclusion is problematic for a number of groups. There’s been talk about this being a ploy by military and government officials who want to see DADT remain, and that the bill will link DADT to military spending that Obama has already said he won’t approve in order to put him in an impossible position and force him to keep the current policy. There’s also the possibility that Republican senators will try to filibuster the bill, however, and thus keep even the military spending from going forward in order to block a DADT repeal. (@cnn)

No one who works here knows enough about the workings of the Senate to know whether Reid’s scheduling of the bill for this week could have to do with the momentum that the issue has gained over the past few weeks – a Federal judge in California recently ruled that DADT was unconstitutional and in violation of the First and Fifth amendments, and former Major Margaret Witt is suing for her right to be reinstated into the Air Force after being discharged under DADT. And this comes only a few weeks after top-of-her-class West Point cadet Katie Miller outed herself, citing the psychological strain and dishonesty of living under a policy that forced her to lie about herself. It’s possible that Reid had planned on bringing the bill up this week for some time before all this happened, but it’s nice to feel that perhaps he was influenced by recent events, and that therefore our actions have some sort of measurable consequence in the world around us and we have a modicum of control over our fate.

The real question, of course, is what will happen to this bill once it actually does reach the Senate, and for that we have no answer. Until next week, at least. Stay tuned!


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Rachel

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

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5 Comments

  1. The Senate bill doesn’t have the F-35 Fighter spending that Obama has said he’d veto. That’s actually in the House version. Though I’m sure someone will try to add it on the floor. They tried to do the same thing last year with the F-22 spending. Making planes the military doesn’t need is apparently the only way Republicans create jobs.

    I had assumed that they would at least debate the bill before the 2010 mid-term elections Nov. 2, but after the last major primary day which was yesterday. I think the timing has more to do with the election than anything else.

    Personally I think the Republicans will look pretty foolish holding up the yearly military budget (their pride and joy) in order to campaign against gays. Most Americans think gays should be allowed to serve. I think the last poll I saw was 70%. It’s possible Democrats intend to use a Republican filibuster to campaign on and say, “look, Republicans won’t approve the military budget because they don’t care about the country.”

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