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DADT: Sen. Harry Reid announces Senate will vote on defense bill, including DADT repeal, next week

DADT trial

By Eden James

Various sources have been breaking this news today, including the Washington Blade which was the leader of the pack:

The Washington Blade has learned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to schedule a vote next week on major defense budget legislation that contains “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal language, regardless of any objection from members of the U.S. Senate.

A senior Democratic leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Reid met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday to inform the Republican leader that the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill will come to the Senate floor the week of Sept. 20.

Of course, Sen. John McCain might have something to say about it, having threatened to filibuster the defense budget bill a few moths ago if it included DADT repeal.

Despite McCain’s threat, Sen. Reid is pushing ahead and apparently willing to make it a campaign issue in his home state of Nevada. Here’s the text of an email he apparently sent to his campaign list:

Senator Reid has reiterated his commitment to repealing the military’s ban on gays serving in our armed forces. This afternoon, he informed Republicans that he intends to bring the Defense Authorization Bill–including a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy–to the Senate Floor next week.

This would overturn the decade-old policy that bars openly gay, lesbian or bisexual Americans from serving in our armed forces, and is an important step towards equal treatment of all Americans.

Senator Reid believes that Americans should not be denied the opportunity to serve their country just because of their sexual orientation. Please visit our website for more information. Voice your support for repealing DADT by signing up online to support Harry Reid.

Megan Jones
Friends for Harry Reid

Alex Nicholson from Servicemembers United had this to say:

“We are both pleased and relieved that Senator Reid has decided to schedule the defense authorization bill for floor time next week,” said Alexander Nicholson, founder and Executive Director of Servicemembers United.

“We are fairly confident that we will have the 60 votes to break a filibuster of this bill. It would be shameful for lawmakers to vote to hold up an important and expansive piece of legislation like the defense authorization bill simply because of their opposition to one or two provisions within it,” Nicholson said.

Here are some more links to the coverage of this from CNN, New York Times and ABC News.

UPDATE: Kerry Eleveld does a preliminary whip count on votes for The Advocate:

Although some Democratic senators such as Jim Webb of Virginia might break with their party and support the filibuster, other Republican senators could help compensate for the deficit.

Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana has already indicated he would not support a filibuster; Senator Susan Collins of Maine voted for the repeal measure in the Senate Armed Services Committee and is a good candidate to also break with her party. Other GOP Senators who might vote to break the filibuster include senators Olympia Snowe of Maine and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Nicholson noted that no Democratic senator has given a strong indication to date that they would join a Republican filibuster.



  • 1. Ronnie  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:20 am



  • 2. Straight Grandmother  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Love, Love, LOVE it Ronnie
    I wish I could go to a protest with you.

  • 3. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:15 am

    September 13.  Rachel Maddow yet again reporting on The Rachel Maddow Show about Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy scheduled for Senate vote next week as announced by the Speaker Harry Reid.

    In the news bit Maddow also mentions the Margaret Witt case and the so-called Witt Standard that states that the military will have to prove that each person being discharged under DADT was individually a threat to his/her unit's morale and cohesion.

    Not to mention Democrats' confessions that politics was the real reason not to go ahead with the vote in Senate right after the House of Representatives passed the Defense Authorization Bill back in May 2010.

    Lady Gaga fans will find out about her support of DADT repeal.

    As usually, the video is also available on YouTube through StartLoving3 (see below).

    — ♂KF

  • 4. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Another news bit on The Rachel Maddow Show featuring Rachel Maddow interviewing Katherine Miller, former West Point cadet (where Dan Choi graduated from) who 6 weeks prior transferred from the academy because of her believe that serving under DADT was compromising her integrity.  Last Sunday she escorted Lady Gaga to MTV Video Music Awards, along with Mike Almy who was the guest on TRMS after the DADT court decision came down in California last week.

    As usually, the video is also available on YouTube through StartLoving3 (see below).

    — ♂KF

  • 5. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  September 14, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Another thing I wanted to point out from yesterday's Rachel Maddow Show in the bit titled Supreme court spouse makes no pretense of impartiality.  It's about Ginni Thomas, US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife.  Rachel is hinting about Ginni's political involvement, but I can't help noticing she is a white woman married to a black man, the man who reportedly opposes same-sex marriage on grounds of his Christian religion, the very religion that was used to explain why black and white people could not marry each other in the United States, up until 1967 in some of the states (“because God divided different people by placing them on different continents”).  Ginni even talks about her wedding (at 03:28): “There was a tornado over our wedding when we got married.  God knew that we were both trouble-makers coming together.”  She's obviously referring to the racial issue.  And now, 43 years later, these “trouble-makers” are against the rights of gay men and lesbians to enjoy the very same institution because the very same religion in the very same way is against marriages between people of the same gender.  The word hypocrisy cannot even begin to describe this instance.

    — ♂KF

  • 6. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    GO Ronnie!!!

  • 7. BK  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Ronnie, will you make my protest sign? 🙂

  • 8. Rhie  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Awesome. I doubt they will filibuster. They would lose so much with their pro-American Military base were they to filibuster the entire bill.

  • 9. BK  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Unless they paint through FoxNews that their attempt at a filibuster was to save the military from "destruction" blah blah blah…

    Geh. :

  • 10. Sagesse  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:30 am

    This may be a completely vain hope, but now that McCain has won his primary, perhaps he will let himself back down on the filibuster threat. Maybe?

  • 11. Ann S.  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

    more emails, please.

  • 12. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

    At least Senator Harry Reid is keeping his word, which is more than I can say for McCain. McCain is on record as having said that when the top brass of the military came to him and said it wanted to end DADT, that he would support it. Then when they said that, he decides he wants to pander to the radical CINO's who have hijacked not only religion, but the government, and filibuster instead of doing the right thing. IMHO that makes Harry Reid the better man, and the man of greater character.

  • 13. BK  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:15 am

    CINO… still love that acronym… 🙂
    This one is kinda dumb, but I wanted to relate this to food: "McChristian" can mean: Misguided and Confused Christian… maybe…

    Even though I disagree with some of Mr. Reid's political viewpoints, he has definitely beat almost all Republicans in this category.


  • 14. Bolt  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I don't see how this is good news. Can we really claim to be anti-war by gaining equality through a measure that will fully finance a war?

    The federal court system seems to be working on our behalf just fine. We should be railing against funding this useless war, and not financing it. I hope it fails in congress.

    If I'm wrong about something, please let me know. I'm going to the gym now.

  • 15. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:49 am

    The thing you are wrong about, and it is a catch-22 to be sure, is that the DADT repeal is IN that bill.

    But, while I am totally with you about not funding war, I also know that if it doesn't pass as it stands now, what will happen in the end is that the DADT repeal will be REMOVED and it will pass that way.

    So one way or the other, the money part of this equation is going to happen. Let us just hope that the DADT part happens as well.

    I say we take the victory on DADT if we can get it, and live to fight the funding issue another day.

  • 16. Bolt  |  September 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    But we do have victory in regards to DADT, victory in court.

  • 17. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Which is true, but may not stand, or may take a while. If it gets dealt with immediately, so much the better.

  • 18. Mandy  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I could be wrong but I believe there are possible issues when it comes to federal courts vs USMJ. Plus it is better to have DADT repealed immediately rather then on hold while appeals are being conducted.

  • 19. Mackenzie  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    regardless of feeling on the war, this defense bill is going to pass regardless. The political peril that would result from not passing this defense budget is enough to scare any politician into getting the party the label of not funding the troops. Might as well add a provision giving us something in return. It is not the best option, but is better than most.

  • 20. Mackenzie  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    and i put regardless in that sentence twice, shame on me!

  • 21. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Regardless of your use of the word regardless, we understood what you meant. 🙂

  • 22. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  September 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Hey, at least he didn't use irregardless!! 🙂

  • 23. Joel  |  September 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I had to run it by a friend who works for the Department of Redundancy Department (the DRD); he said it was fine.

  • 24. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Is Mackenzie a he? I thought he was a she, probably because of Mackenzie Phillips. Mackenzie, care to help us out here?


  • 25. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:37 pm


    Would that be good ol' Billy Saffire in DRD?


  • 26. Erik  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Defense authorizations do more than fund wars. They pay the troops, pay for the hospitals where injured soldiers are treated, pay for armor for our troops, and lots of other things to support troops.

  • 27. BK  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:23 am

    @Bolt: isn't it better to get something good out of that bill, rather than let it pass by itself? And besides… if the DADT repeal makes the bill fail, all the better for people who are anti-war, right? 🙂

  • 28. Mandy  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I think something similar was posted on another thread but doesn't the repeal of DADT return change the USMJ so that being gay and in the military is illegal. Doesn't the repeal language need specific language asserting the rights of all just in case?

  • 29. Anonygrl  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Yes. I believe so.

    I don't know what the actual solution is, though. I have to hope they have considered that in the language of the repeal.

  • 30. Larry Little  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:56 am

    How courageous for our Democrat leader to be democratic. Republicans were ready to extend their abusive morality and if John McCain has his way, he will filibuster………..How pathetic.for any public figure.

  • 31. Straight Grandmother  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I love ya but ….Arrrrrrgh..sigh…hands slaps cheeks, like a big fat happy balloon and the air gets let out..

    I guess what I would say to this is, Obama is getting us out of Iraq. I am willing to not second guess him on Afghanistan… yet. I don't think this is a President who gets his rocks off on war. I figure he must know more and have more information than I do so I am going to not condemn him at this time on his Commander in Chief performance.

    With the DADT ruling in Federal Court last week, I guess this is a good time to just put it out there for a vote.

    It is kind of like I have written before:
    Yes We Can
    Yes We Can
    Just not today…

    Harry Reid is changing that song and instead saying, YES today, YES now.

  • 32. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I was amazed and SHOCKED to wake up and see a vote going next this week. I echo what SG says YES NOW!!!!! I'm getting desperate every day as my partner got a letter in the mail yesterday that his Visa Extension is not likely going to be approved. This is someone who was raised in U.S. and all his family are U.S. Citizens. I can barely breathe today thinking he could be sent away any moment (I FEEL YOUR PAIN FRANCK!) Every step like this vote that brings us closer I am Grateful for! YES Harry Reid! My energy and hope is with you!!!

  • 33. Sagesse  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Harry Reid has done a personally and politically courageous thing. The Defense Aurthorization Bill needs to be passed, with the DADT language unchanged. He and the Democrats and other allies (there must be a few?) deserve all the support people can give them.

  • 34. Straight Grandmother  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I was jsut going to go to bed, but I just noticed, have we passed the time limit for that supposedly potential appeal?

  • 35. Dpeck  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Yup. That was at 6PM, it's now 7:45 PM and there is ntohing to indicate that the Lt. Gov took any action.

  • 36. draNgNon  |  September 13, 2010 at 11:25 am

    So first of all – I am not sure the appropriations bill is subject to filibuster. It's a budget bill, first and foremost. but maybe it's just the DADT amendment to it that is filibuster-able.

    As far as that goes… let them filibuster, I say. None of this sham filibuster either. Reid needs to grow a pair; I've said that for 2 years now. Get a quorum in there and make the filibustering senator get up and talk the talk.….

    A filibuster can be defeated by the majority party if they leave the debated issue on the agenda indefinitely, without adding anything else. Indeed, Thurmond's attempt to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was defeated when Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield refused to refer any further business to the Senate, which required the filibuster to be kept up indefinitely. Instead, the opponents were all given a chance to speak, and the matter eventually was forced to a vote….

    In the modern filibuster, the senators trying to block a vote do not have to hold the floor and continue to speak as long as there is a quorum, although the Senate Majority Leader may require an actual traditional filibuster if he or she so chooses. In the past, when one senator became exhausted, another would need to take over to continue the filibuster. Ultimately, the filibuster could be exhausted by a majority who would even sleep in cots outside the Senate Chamber to exhaust the filibusterers. Today, the minority just advises the majority leader that the filibuster is on. All debate on the bill is stopped until cloture is voted by three-fifths (now 60 votes) of the Senate….

  • 37. Dave in Whittier  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Does anyone have a link to the DADT text in the bill?

  • 38. Bob  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    watching American politics is soooo exhausting, DADT is tied to funding, to end discrimination, ya got to fund an unjust war, using money totally necessary for upgrading a failing infrastructure, the U.S. is in such a mess,

    and then to think ending DADT would just be a ploy cause you would fall back on other discriminatory rules like USMJ, how in the heck can you people trust anyone, really it's so much smoke and mirrors, is there anything striaght forward.

    when will we end our suspicions about them trying to stab the LGBT community in the back,

    End the DADT, including USMJ, or whatever other discriminatory policies are in place, enjoy equality, let go of funding unjust wars, time to stop playing with those war toys, flexing muscles, and take care of yourselves, like celebrating community, and honoring country and citizens by rebuilding infrastructure, creating jobs, and being happy

  • 39. Sagesse  |  September 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    NOM is still at it in Minnesota

    Minnesota Family Council wants gay marriage at center stage in guv race

  • 40. Shannon  |  September 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Goes to show NOM is not really working to 'protect marriage', they just use the issue to rally voters for conservative GOP politicians. Perhaps they don't really care about gays getting married; we're just a political tool for them!

  • 41. Michelle Evans  |  September 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Hey, I got a robocall here in California from NOM on Monday morning! Looks like they are gearing up to attack us again, any way they can in this state, regardless of what any court says. They do not want to give up their lucrative paychecks from all the sheeple out there.

  • 42. Ed  |  September 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    What did they say, Michelle??

  • 43. Kate  |  September 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Cookie! I've missed you.

  • 44. Kate  |  September 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Sorry,wrong thread. But the same sentiment.

  • 45. Ed  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:13 am

    OT, but something I've been considering, about marriage equality…..
    Pick a random neighborhood, knock on a random door, and ask that person if they favor marriage equality. If they respond with the usual responses (protect traditional marriage, it'll break the foundation of our society, etc.), respond by saying (pick a random house address), "Well, did you know that Dave and Chris in apt 4E got married a year ago in Iowa? Did anything happen to you as a result of that marriage? Oh, nothing happened to you? Ok, thanks for your time…..(and just walk away, letting them ponder what just happened)

    Just a thought.

  • 46. Judy  |  September 14, 2010 at 12:19 am

    In reading Bertrand Russell's "Science and Religion" it's amazing how the same arguments were used against people who thought the earth moved around the sun. They beat them and killed them. They said they will burn in hell. They quoted selected bible passages. They kept it suppressed until finally civil laws took over.

  • 47. Kate  |  September 14, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Indeed. Reality has been thwacked by their book so long that you'd think folks would be able to see through its thinning pages by now.

  • 48. Kate  |  September 14, 2010 at 1:18 am

    C'mon folks; only a few people from here have expressed thanks to Maldonado. I'm bringing my request over to this thread so y'all will be sure to see it.

    Everyone, please take a few minutes to thank the Acting Gov for not interfering in the legal process just to satisfy those idiots. Well, don’t say idiots. Remember how we all filled PP&M’s wall with thanks? Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • 49. fern  |  September 14, 2010 at 1:47 am

    @Bolt. I'm anti-war but I also realize that sometimes war is un-avoidable (war being a fight), on flt 63 peaceful citizens decided to go to war as they were faced with the dilemma of even more innocent peace loving dying at the end of the terrorist. Let's not forget that Pakistan has an atomic potential.

  • 50. fern  |  September 14, 2010 at 1:50 am

    @Bolt. I’m anti-war but I also realize that sometimes war is un-avoidable (war being a fight), on flt 63 peaceful citizens decided to go to war as they were faced with the dilemma of even more innocent peace loving people dying at the hands of the terrorist. Let’s not forget that Pakistan has an atomic potential.

  • 51. fern  |  September 14, 2010 at 2:13 am

    It's politics like I said before and politics evade all honesty, humanity and rationality. Those log cabin republicans are the future of the republican party, some of them will replace the dinosaurs and the democrats knowing this have ignored Judge Phillips ruling and got Mr. Reid to go for it at the senate, the law being repealed the democrats will have a "victory" and therefore access to the riches of the rich gay. McCain won't filibuster because it'll mean a long stretch of five fingers widow at home.
    Yes I'm vulgar and not politically but how can one be
    correct faced with political un-correctness.

  • 52. Chris From CO  |  September 14, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I want to know how many people have been discharged for the don't ask part of the policy, does anyone know? Or is it just the reality that if you are outed in one way or another your gone? Just wondering.

  • 53. Melissa  |  September 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    According to Service Members legal Defense Network, over 13,500 (

    The costs to re-train new personnel for all those positions is pretty staggering too

    It's an awful policy for so many reasons.

  • 54. Ann S.  |  September 15, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Wait, for asking or telling? I think Chris meant just for asking.

  • 55. Chris From CO  |  September 15, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Yes Ann thats what i meant of the 13,500 how many were discharged for the asking part or is the law just to get rid of the gays and lesbians.

  • 56. Ann S.  |  September 15, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Interesting question. Prior to DADT, under the UCMJ, the military was actively investigating people who hadn't "told", but DADT was actually supposed to improve the situation by stopping the witchhunts (the "asking").

    I'm afraid this isn't an area I know very much about, though.

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