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Capps, House Vote to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The legislation now moves to the Senate

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Wednesday applauded passage of legislation in the House of Representatives to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The legislation passed the House by a vote of 250-175. The Senate is expected to consider the legislation before adjourning.

Language to repeal DADT was included in the fiscal year 2011 Department of Defense Authorization Bill, which the House approved on May 27 by a vote of 234-194. The Senate was unable to advance similar legislation containing the DADT repeal.

“Ending this discriminatory policy would represent a tremendous civil rights victory for this country. Like the majority of the American public, I believe repealing don’t ask, don’t tell is long overdue. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good policy,” Capps said. “America’s security has been weakened by depriving our country of the service of thousands of gay and lesbian troops who have served their country honorably and possess the skills needed to protect our country against the threats we face in the 21st century.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the incredible job of UC Santa Barbara’s Palm Center in advancing this debate over the past 10 years. It’s been a tremendous honor to work with Aaron Belkin, Nathaniel Frank, Chris Neff and the entire staff of the Palm Center on this issue. The Palm Center has been able to demonstrate, through its extensive research, that repealing don’t ask, don’t tell would benefit the United States military.

“Finally, Senate Republicans can no longer hide behind their nonsensical process arguments that they used to stall both the repeal of DADT and consideration of the larger defense bill. The House is sending the Senate a clean bill containing only the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell, and I urge the Senate Republicans to stop their obstruction and allow this essential legislation to advance.”

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

 

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