Senator Susan Collins, a Maine
Republican, said Tuesday she supports repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell,” the AP reported.
Collins is considered a critical vote
in the Senate Armed Services Committee that is expected to vote
Thursday on attaching an amendment to the defense budget that would
repeal the Clinton-era law that prohibits gay troops from disclosing
their sexual orientation.
The committee includes 12 Republicans,
most of whom are leaning against voting for the measure, including
ranking Republican Arizona Senator John McCain. McCain has become
the face of opposition to repeal in the Senate.
Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown,
who blew into office on a right-wing platform, has
already said he'll vote against the measure.
After the White House and Pentagon
united in urging Congress to postpone repeal until it completes an
implementation study, support from conservative Democrats on the
panel softened. But on Tuesday, President
Barrack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed a compromise
measure that would delay implementation of repeal until after the
study is concluded and Obama, Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, the
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agree on the policy changes.