The California Senate has approved a
resolution that calls for an end to the military's gay ban.
The resolution calls on Congress to
pass and President Obama to sign the Military Readiness Enhancement
Act of 2009, a bill that would end “don't ask, don't tell,” the
law that prescribes discharge for gay and lesbian service members who
do not remain closeted or celibate.
State Senators approved the resolution
in a 23 to 16 vote Monday. Assembly members will take up the
resolution in January.
“We applaud our representatives in
the State Senate for standing up for what is right, and we urge our
representatives in the Assembly and ultimately in Washington to do
the same,” Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California
(EQCA), said in a statement. “President Obama and Congress must
fulfill their promise to stand up for equality and overturn this
The resolution was sponsored by EQCA
and introduced by Senator Christine Kehoe, a Democrat from San Diego.
“To be a quality soldier you must
display courage, patriotism, commitment and ability – none of which
have anything to do with sexual orientation,” Senator Kehoe said in
a statement. “Overturning this shameful policy will help ensure
that gay and lesbian Americans will be afforded the same
opportunities as any other American who wants to serve our country.”
Candidate Obama pledged he would repeal
the law, but President Obama has refused to consider ending
discharges with an executive order, saying only Congress can rein in
the law. Over 320 service members have been fired under Obama's
watch, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN),
a group that lobbies for repeal of the law.
A Senate Armed Services Committee
hearing on repeal of the law is expected in the fall, New York
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office announced in July.