House votes to repeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a compromise to repeal the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law that bans openly gay people from serving in the military.

The vote of 234-194 in favor of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) moved Congress closer to scrapping the Clinton-era law. Also on Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favor of repealing the law.

“We honor the values of our nation and we close the door on fundamental unfairness,” Pelosi said.

Twenty-six Democrats voted against the amendment while five Republicans voted for it.

The five Republicans who voted for the bill are Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Anh “Joseph” Cao (La.), Charles Djou (Hawaii), Ron Paul (Texas) and Judy Biggert (Ill.). Several vulnerable Democrats also voted for the repeal amendment, including Reps. Walt Minnick (Idaho), Jerry McNerney (Calif.) and Michael McMahon (N.Y.). Other Democrats in tight races voted against the amendment, including Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.).

The chief congressional proponents of repeal reached an agreement with the Obama administration to repeal the policy only after the Pentagon finishes its review of repeal implementation and President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen certify that it can be achieved consistent with the military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruitment and retention.


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