Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine is the
latest Senate Republican to voice support for ending “Don't Ask,
House members on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of ending
the law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly,
Snowe announced she was prepared to do the same.
“After careful analysis of the
comprehensive report compiled by the Department of Defense and
thorough consideration of the testimony provided by the Secretary of
Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the service
chiefs, I support repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law,” Snowe
said in a statement.
The Senate is expected next week to
take up the standalone version of repeal introduced after the chamber
twice failed to approve repeal language bundled within the annual
Three additional Republicans – Susan
Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Scott Brown of
Massachusetts – have said they conditionally support repeal. Only
Collins crossed the aisle last week to join all but one Democrat,
Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, in voting for repeal.
However, the new standalone version
removes most of the procedural objections cited by Republicans.
Snowe's announcement suggests repeal
advocates have the 60 votes needed to repeal the law.
Advocates also believe two additional
Republicans – George Voinovich of Ohio and Richard Lugar of Indiana
– are leaning towards repeal.