Republicans in the Senate will gain one
more voice against repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” with
Monday's swearing in of Mark Kirk.
The Illinois Representative will serve
the remaining weeks of President Barack Obama's unexpired term.
Democratic Senator Roland Burris was appointed to the seat after
Obama became president but didn't run for the post. Kirk's full term
begins in January.
Burris supports repeal of the policy
that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly. But as a
representative, Kirk voted against a measure that would repeal the
That vote cost Kirk the endorsement of
the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights
advocate, which had endorsed the five-term congressman over an openly
gay Democrat in 2004. HRC
instead backed pro-gay marriage Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
Senate committee will hold two days worth of hearings on a Pentagon
report on repeal of the law this week before the measure moves to the
The addition of Kirk, who is expected
to oppose repeal, increases the likelihood that Senate Republicans
will block the measure for a second a time.