Lame-Duck Defense Bill Imperils Repeal of 'Don't Ask'

Monday, 15 Nov 2010 12:38 PM

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President Barack Obama may want to forget his campaign promise to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gay and lesbian soldiers. That’s because Democrats may have to drop the repeal so they can pass the defense authorization bill in the Senate during the lame-duck session, The Hill reports.

gays, military, don't ask, don't tellSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid may not be able to capture enough votes to pass the bill without stripping the repeal from it. But ditching the repeal effort could be a disaster for Obama, alienating his liberal base over yet another issue.

The lame-duck session probably presents the last chance for a repeal before the 2012 presidential campaign because of Republicans’ takeover of the House and increased numbers in the Senate for the 112th Congress.

Failure to end the policy now “would be a major setback for gay and lesbian service members as well as the president,” Aubrey Sarvis, the executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, told The Hill. That network is dedicated to repealing the regulation.

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