September 20th, 2010
08:06 AM ET
11 years ago

Lady Gaga leading rally against military's 'don't ask, don't tell'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Lady Gaga is headed to Maine Monday."] 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.

On Monday, Kevin Kelley, a spokesman for Sen. Collins, told CNN, "Senator Collins was the only Republican to vote for the provision that would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell contingent on certifications regarding military readiness by the President, Secretary of Defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She believes that our Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable to serve our country."

"Senator Collins recognizes, however, that many of her colleagues have a different view. She would like the Senate to proceed to a full and open debate on the Defense Authorization bill, with members able to offer amendments on all relevant issues. She has encouraged Senator Reid to work with Republican leaders to negotiate such an agreement so that the defense bill could be brought to the floor this week."

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.

Filed under: Lady Gaga
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. The reality is...

    Yes, we can see the headline already, "Senators take their cue from Lady Gaga and repeal "Don't ask, don't tell". Then they wonder why they are going to be run out of office in November by the silent majority.

    September 20, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. Clwyd

    While I'm no fan of Lady Gaga's I could become one if she keeps taking this politically active role. Go for it girl!

    September 20, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Grahame Rhodes

    I would vote for Lady Gaga any day before voting for either Sarah Palin or Christine O'Donnell since Lady Gaga has more class than either of these two money grubbing losers.

    September 20, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  4. GeminiTwo

    This is a decision for the military and in fact the military is doing a study to determine what, if any effect it will have on its members. Why not wait until the study comes out? Politicians should stop giving credibility to these entertainment people who are so full of themselves and are using the fact that they are in the public media to gain influence. Yes, they are citizens too, but no one cares what Gaga says. Has Gaga served in the military?

    September 20, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. Jack

    Man, when you have pop stars who are smarter than our politicians, that's pretty scary. Lady Gaga is just showing how backward and out of step our namby pamby politicians are. She speaks for a whole generation that is not homophobic.

    September 20, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Just say NO again. Kick 'em out.

    Vote NO to the party of NO. Look at the grief they've caused us the last two years by obstructing everything, including jobs bills for our country. They want to bring the president down and they're willing to bring down the entire country to do it.

    VOTE NO to the party of NO.

    September 20, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  7. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    DADT came at a time when that was all the American people could get. We're past it now, and it should be repealed. When people are defending our country, I don't care if they're into opposite sex, same sex or best of breed. It's nobody's business.

    September 20, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. Gagoofy

    Why do these singers and movie stars think their opinions are so important? When most rational people could care less what they think about anything. Inflated egos and star power do not make them any more special than anyone else. Big whoopee,

    September 20, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |

    I am against anything that skank is supporting.

    September 20, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. Snow

    Why does she not crawl back into the wood work? She should have disappeared when the lights came back on.

    September 20, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Really?

    Dear "Lady Gaga",
    Please spend one day in the military before flapping your collagen inflated lips about a culture that you have no clue about.


    A veteran

    September 20, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    Out of all the industrialized nations of the world, why are we last at everything? Anyone else out there wonder about this?

    September 20, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. jim

    It's odd that this lady blames everyone but O'bama for this. He's the one that is responsible because at the urging of Sec. Gates he asked Congress to put off a vote till they could get more feedback of how this issue would affect the military.

    September 20, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. malabar

    Notice how PETA stayed silent about her meat dress? either that or their admonishment got as much press as nazi halvorson

    September 20, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Marco

    Good for her! Thank you.

    September 20, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |