Senate panel votes to end 'don't ask, don't tell

Thu. May 27, 2010 12:00 AM by Brett Anthony

Washington, DC - The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16 to 12 Thursday to repeal ‘don't ask, don't tell,' the controversial policy banning openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military.

Implementation of the measure would be delayed until after the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops due at the end of the year.

The House is expected to vote on an identical measure late Thursday night or Friday. Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy, the lead sponsor of the measure in the house, says he expect it to be approved, and the full Senate would vote on it next month.

Gay-rights advocates have continued to push President Obama and congressional Democrats on the Clinton-era ‘don't ask, don't tell' policy, calling it nothing more than discrimination. The 1993 law allows gays to serve in the military only if they don't disclose their sexual orientation.

Many Republicans oppose changing the policy. Arizona Senator John McCain, one of the most notable Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee voted against the repeal.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have endorsed the repeal of DADT.