WASHINGTON (CNN) - Although Congress has now voted to repeal the military's controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy, it will be at least a few months before the historic change takes effect.
President Barack Obama is likely to sign the repeal this week, setting the stage to allow gay people to serve openly in the armed forces. The Pentagon, however, has an 87-page implementation plan for the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Over the next several weeks, military officials need to examine and rewrite a series of policies, regulations and directives related to the current law.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The military's prohibition of openly gay people serving within its ranks is one step closer to ending, after the Senate voted Saturday to repeal the armed forces' "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Eight Republicans and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut joined the chamber's Democrats to back the legislation, which passed by a 65-31 margin. The bill needed a simple majority - meaning support from 51 of the Senate's 100 members - to pass.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Members of the U.S. Senate voted 65-31 on Saturday to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which bans openly gay people from serving in the armed forces. With House of Representatives legislators having voted similarly Wednesday, the bill now goes to the desk of President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate voted 65-31 on Saturday to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law, which bans openly gay people from serving in the armed forces.
The measure now goes to President Obama to sign. The House of Representatives passed the measure 250-175 on Wednesday.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Four key GOP senators who have announced their support of a "don't ask, don't tell" repeal are prepared to join Democrats in voting to let the bill proceed, as long as Congress first deals with a measure to fund the government, aides to the four said Friday.
The aides said Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Lisa Murkowski and Scott Brown will vote Saturday to end debate on the ban on openly gay and lesbian people in the military if the Senate passes a stopgap spending bill - a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. The four have previously said that bill must be approved first.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain sounded off on issues being debated in the lame duck Congressional session during an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King Thursday night.
Appearing on CNN's John King, USA Thursday night, McCain had choice words for fellow members of his party that plan to vote in favor of the spending bill that contains Republican earmarks. Calling the bill a "monstrosity and atrocity" Mccain stated, "It is a bipartisan plague, and we have Republican senators who may vote in favor of this atrocity.
(CNN) - Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, announced Wednesday that she now supports a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, making four Republican Senators in all who have publically endorsed the end of the 17-year-old prohibition against openly gay soldiers from serving in the U.S. military.
In a statement, Snowe said she came to the conclusion after "careful analysis," but also stressed the importance of allowing time to implement a plan for repeal.
Snowe's announcement means, in theory, supporters of a repeal have more than the 60 senators needed to end debate.
Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, are the other GOP senators who have voiced support for the repeal. In her statement, Snowe joins Murkowski and Brown who have said their vote is contingent on the Senate finishing work on both the tax cut legislation and the bill to fund the government.
The House passed a stand-alone bill to repeal the policy Wednesday, putting increased pressure on Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, to bring a vote on the measure to the floor before the end of this Congress.
Snowe also criticized the Senate for the delay of the defense authorization bill. Originally, a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was included as part of the Defense Authorization Bill – a strategy supporters of repeal hoped would speed passage, as senators who oppose repeal would be forced to make a politically risky vote against military policy.
"It is undeniable that we could have avoided this situation, where three weeks before the end of the legislative session we are without a national defense authorization bill for the first time in 48 years," Snowe said in a statement. "It was a misguided judgment to hold up the critical defense authorization bill."
Snowe's announcement came about the same time Wednesday that Sens. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and John McCain, R-Arizona, the chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, announced an agreement on a defense bill, stripped of controversial provisions, that the senators think can be unanimously approved by the Senate in the coming days. The move could clear the way for Snowe to vote for the separate bill repealing "don't ask, don't tell."
The open question is whether there will be time to do so, with 10 days until Christmas and the Senate's plate already full with the START treaty and an enormous, controversial spending bill.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Sen. Snowe's vote on "don't ask, don't tell" was contigent on the passage of the Defense Authorization bill.
Washington (CNN) - The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to overturn the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving in the U.S. military, passing legislation repealing the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The bill - a so-called "standalone" measure not tied to any other legislative items - passed 250 to 175 in a virtual party-line vote. It now advances to the Senate.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - House Democrats renewed their push Tuesday to overturn the ban on gays and lesbian soldiers serving openly in the U.S. military, introducing legislation repealing the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The House previously passed a repeal of the ban as part of a larger defense spending authorization bill, but the measure stalled last week in the Senate.FULL STORY
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) - A lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of three service members discharged from the U.S. military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, asking for their reinstatement, according to attorneys representing the three.
"This filing is a frontal shot as we prepare to pursue and sustain an aggressive, far-reaching litigation strategy if the Senate fails to act this month to repeal the law," Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Service members Legal Defense Network, said in a statement. "This dispute can be resolved by Congress or the courts."