Democratic leaders in the Senate are
weighing their options on repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the
1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly.
House members approved repeal of the
ban in May when they passed next year's defense budget, which
included a repeal amendment. A similar Senate maneuver was achieved
With a bevy of Senate races rated as
toss-ups and Republicans threatening to filibuster the bill,
Democratic leaders are carefully considering the timing of repeal.
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, a
Republican, has announced he'll introduce an amendment on the Senate
floor to strike repeal language from the bill.
Inhofe told the Baptist Press that
he believes Democrats will hold off on repeal until after the
“Those people coming up for an
election in November – and I'm talking about the wobbly Democrats
who want to do what the Democrats say to do but they know how the
people at home feel – they don't want to [be] on record [voting in
favor of repeal],” he said.
Republican Congressman Todd Akin of
Missouri agreed, saying the “big window of danger is after the
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
of Nevada is keeping mum on when he'll bring the bill to the floor,
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a major backer
of repeal in the Senate, is urging Reid to do so in September, after
lawmakers return from August recess.
told DC gay weekly the Washington
Blade that he's working on a deal between majority and
minority leaderships that would eliminate the possibility of a
“What we're hoping to do before
August is to have an agreement which will pave the way for it being
brought up right after the recess,” Levin said.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of
the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a group lobbying for
repeal of the gay ban, said it backed the plan.
“This bill … should not be caught
up in post election games and posturing,” he said.
trial that seeks to end the policy wrapped up Friday in a California