The California Assembly approved a
resolution Thursday urging Congress to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly.
Senate Joint Resolution 9, introduced
by Senator Christine Kehoe, a San Diego Democrat, was approved on a
51-to-17 bipartisan vote.
Republican Assemblymen Anthony Adams
and Nathan Fletcher, a Marine Corps veteran, were among the measure's
“I believe that any American who has
these core values – honor, courage and commitment – and who is
willing to give their life for their country should be allowed to
serve openly and honorably,” Fletcher said on the Assembly floor.
California Equality, the state's
largest gay rights advocate, congratulated legislators for approving
the resolution, and joined in urging Congress to repeal the law.
“We are proud of our state's
leadership for championing fairness and equality in the military,”
said Geoff Kors, executive director of EQCA. “Those who are
dedicated to serving our country should be free to do so regardless
of their sexual orientation. The time to repeal this outdated,
discriminatory policy is long overdue, and we urge Congress and
President Obama to act immediately.”
“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,” said Senator Kehoe, the resolution's sponsor.
The lawmakers' actions come as Congress
prepares to consider whether to include repeal language in next
year's defense budget. With the president's backing, the
Pentagon has urged lawmakers to hold off on repeal this year.
The resolution now heads to the state
Senate for a concurrence vote.