West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on
Saturday reversed course on openly gay troops, saying he was “wrong”
to vote against repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”
In December 2010, Manchin voted no on a
cloture vote and skipped a floor vote on the legislation which
eventually ended the policy the following year.
“That was the wrong vote,” Manchin
said at a breakfast hosted by National Journal and The
Atlantic. “Today, I would vote the other way.”
Manchin is one of three remaining
Senate Democrats who have not publicly endorsed gay marriage. The
other two holdouts are Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mary Landrieu of
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” was the
military's official policy on gay and bisexual troops for 18 years.
During that time, more than 14,000 service members were drummed out
of the military for violating the policy, according to reports
compiled by the Secretary of Defense's Defense Manpower Data Center,
the Department of Homeland Security and the National Guard Bureau.
(The figure includes members of the National Guard.)
Manchin previously said his objection
to repeal was based on “an issue of timing.”