Washington (CNN) – Pop star Lady Gaga will headline a rally in Portland, Maine, Monday calling on the state's two Republican senators to vote yes on taking up a defense bill that includes authorization to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gay and lesbian servicemembers.
A crucial Senate vote is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, and supporters of the repeal say that as of now, they do not have the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster blocking the bill. Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are publicly undecided, and could each potentially provide Democrats the votes they need to bring the issue before the Senate.
Lady Gaga's rally is being organized by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a gay rights group mobilizing grassroots support to repeal the controversial policy. The organization also helped the singer set up a lengthy YouTube video posted Friday urging her fans to call their senators and ask them to support Tuesday's procedural vote.
The singer sent word of the planned rally via twitter Sunday night.
A spokesman for SLDN says Gaga will be accompanied at Monday's rally by both gay and straight military veterans. Both of Maine's GOP senators have been generally supportive of the gay rights community, and this issue in particular.
Collins voted to authorize the Pentagon to repeal the don't-ask-don't-tell policy when the issue was before the Senate Armed Services Committee this summer, and SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis calls both Collins and Snowe "key to breaking the filibuster" on Tuesday.
Republican leaders are trying to keep all 41 GOP senators on board to block the bill, arguing that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, is unfairly limiting the amendments allowed to try to change the bill once it is on the Senate floor.
GOP leaders are also ridiculing Reid for trying to bring what they call a purely political vote to the Senate floor right before the election, to appease the gay community, which has been frustrated with Democrats for inaction on this issue.
On Friday, aides to both Collins and Snowe told CNN they were still undecided about how they would vote. GOP leadership sources told CNN they feel confident they can keep all their members in line and prevent the defense bill from coming to the Senate floor.
Lady Gaga’s rally will take place at 4 p.m. ET at Deering Oaks Park in Portland, Maine, near the University of Southern Maine campus.
oh yes, all you senators listen up, the "lady" speaks. Good grief, better yet, listen to the other 90% of Americans who say don't repeal.
So what amendments would the GOP want to make? It's kind of a binary choice: keep DADT or get rid of it. I vote for getting rid of it.
This is the right time to get this vote going. The RepbliCAN'Ts are truly in a SPOT – the moderates are afraid to go against their sidekick, the Tea Party and to vote YES for this repeal will hurt them more than do good.
I am so glad that Lady Gaga has brought this issue FRONT and CENTER and the repeal is long overdue!!
T'SAH from Virginia – the Liberal – and I approve this message!!
Not surprising, after all she stated on the national television that she is bisexual. What an absurd society this has became
Wonder how many of of us will be alive today, if majority are either gay, lesbian or bisexual?
What has happened to generate all these?
I don't see why this is such a big deal. Repeal the law; check out what other countries do with their homosexuals in the military. They are allowed to serve. We have booted out far too many that have needed skills. If these people want to serve in the military, I say that is fine since it is a volunteer military.
Glad a celeb is doin some type of political activism.
Lady Gaga is a singer, a poorly talented one at that, but a singer nonetheless. She needs to get her nose out of politics and stick wkth the boozing, drugging and the poor excuse of singing and what appears to be siezures but most commonly interrupted as her dancing.
Go GAGA!! Get all your Little Monsters to call their representatives and lets get some action!!
Urge all your Little Monsters (at least those of voting age) to get out and VOTE when they have the opportunity.
You are powerful and alive and able to motivate people!!! Keep at it!
Don't treat our military men and women like they are al Qaeda, Taliban or terrorist. Military are our men, women, children, etc., they deserve the respect of every American.
Lady Ga Ga and Harry Reid working in complete unison. Speaks volumes about Liberals doesn't it?
With all of the serious issues facing our government right now, I can't beleive this is the one she is demanding change on???? Hey, Lady Gaga with your celebrity status right now, how about making a rally cry against terrorists living in our own country that are working to undermine the civil liberties in which you are allowed to make your money! What about using your keen political savvy and work for green energy development or saving our factory jobs from leaving the US.
Senators Collins and Snowe:
DO NOT listen to crazy Lady Gaga!!! Vote against the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. May you keep this fair policy as the law!!!
I love it when people who never served want to dictate the rules for the military. I spent 11 years in the US Navy, 2 years US Navy Reserves, and 2 years US Army Reserves. There are a lot less homophobes than the cilvian populace thinks. This boiles down to why should I be forced to shower with some one who will make sexual advancements at me for a 1 year tour. (I have had sexual advancements from gays in the cilvian world and it does not bother me), but stuck on a ship for 6 mos, or a fox hole for a year makes trying to fight a war difficult. I do have some gays that my girlfriend and I hang out with, but trust me I can go home at night, I dont have to sleep next to one. Lets see how well we can intergrate femails on the front lines, before we intergrate gays. Our guys over there are under enough stress as it is.
Here's a nut case trying to undermine our military to gain some cheap publicity. Guess that's why so few folks even know her; obviously doesn't have any talent.,
Another wacked out I need publicity entertainer. Withe all their money and press exposure, you would think that they would tackle the issues that really trouble the world today.
DADT is clearly a Military law designed by lawyers and to placate a religiously powerful community who simply want in many areas to deny gays simple human rights they enjoy.
As we all know in many cases the law is an ass.
Second, religion ( GOP voting 41 against is to retain thier religious base voters ) is supposed to be separated i.e church and state.
Yes they are a minority but to discriminate is not morally supportable. To me it's like saying an HIV positive person can't be employed, or someone who clearly has aids!!
DADT is morally wrong... and I get really mad with the GOP for criticising Dems for putting this legislation to a vote when it was one of thier campaign promises to deal with gay rights.The GOP say a lot and then do nothing! or just say NO yet again.
I'm not a huge Lady Gaga fan (she doesn't need to do all the outrageous stuff – just let your amazing talents fly, woman!), but on this, I whole-heartedly agree!
Just like the vast majority of straight service personnel, the vast majority of gay personnel comply with the non-fraternizing regs the military has. If there's a problem in that regard – just like if there's a problem in regard to any kind of harassment or breaking of regulations – the military will deal with it.
We need every willing service personnel to protect our country. Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell!
My grandmother, who died in 1996 at the age of 90, worked in the Bremerton, Washington, shipyards during WWII. She survived the Great Depression and was one of the strongest people I've ever known.
I remember talking to her in 1994 (when she was 88 years old) about gays serving in the military, and her response was, "If they want to serve their country, we should let them."
She was not a Liberal; she was just a person who had lived through very trying times and knew that what counted when it came to defending our country was character. A person's sexuality was a private affair, and as long as a gay person followed the other codes of military conduct (not fraternizing with superiors, etc.), she absolutely didn't have a problem with gays serving.
I agree wholeheartedly with my Grandma – and urge our Senators to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Lady Gaga set down and shut up. You sleep beneath the blanket of security the men and women in uniform provide for you each night. A very Small percent are not heterosexual. Deal with it, or pick yourself another country you freak of nature.