New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has
decided not to pursue a senate amendment that would pause military
discharges based on sexual orientation, gay weekly the Washington
Gillibrand, the freshman senator
appointed by Governor David Paterson after President Obama tapped
Hillary Clinton to head the State Department, signaled last week she
would introduce the reform as an amendment to a Defense Department
The amendment would place an 18-month
moratorium on the military gay ban, also known as “don't ask, don't
tell,” the law that prescribes discharge for gay and lesbian
service members who do not remain celibate or closeted.
While the measure was supported by
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, Gillibrand said
the bill became a non-starter after her office shopped it around.
“She's not going to pursue the
moratorium amendment at this time,” Matt Canter, a Gillibrand
spokesman, told the paper. “She was working for about a week to
assess support among her colleagues for the measure. It does not
appear that we're going to have the 60 votes needed to overcome a
Gillibrand was expected to attach the
amendment to the same must-pass defense spending bill that includes
Senator Ted Kennedy's controversial hate crimes legislation.
A bill that would repeal the military
gay ban is sponsored by Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy,
an Iraq veteran, in the House. Senator Kennedy is expected to
sponsor the Senate version.
President Obama says he supports repeal
of the law even as the administration has fired 313 gay service members,
according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that
lobbies for repeal.