Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Joe
Lieberman of Connecticut, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Mark
Udall of Colorado have introduced a stand-alone bill to repeal the
military's ban on gay and bisexual troops serving openly.
The senators introduced the bill
(S4022) on Thursday shortly after Republicans blocked a defense
spending bill which includes the repeal measure from moving forward.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
attempted the vote after several moderate Republicans hinted they
might support repeal. Only
Collins crossed the aisle to vote with all but one Democrat, West
Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Blanche Lincoln, a senator from
Arkansas who voted against the measure in September, arrived too late
to cast her vote, but told reporters that she would have voted for
“The reality remains that 60 – and
I think maybe more than 60 – members of the United States Senate
have made clear that they support the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't
Tell,'” Lieberman said in introducing the bill. “We're going to
keep fighting until the last possible moment in this session.
Because we've got the votes to change this unjust policy and we owe
it to ourselves and to our country.”
Lieberman told reporters that the bill
enjoys the support of Senator Reid.
Reid “said, 'I will bring it to the
active calender under rule 14,'” Lieberman said, referring to a
Senate rule that allows a measure to bypass a committee hearing.
Appearing on MSNBC's The Rachel
Maddow Show, Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers
Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the largest group lobbying for repeal
of the Clinton-era law, said the stand-alone effort had a “good”
chance of passage.