House votes to overturn ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

The House voted late on Thursday to overturn the ban on gays serving openly in the military, paving the way for the Pentagon to end the Clinton-era "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The repeal passed 234-194 as an amendment to a fiscal 2011 Defense policy bill (H.R. 5136) that authorizes more than $700 billion in funding for the Pentagon, Energy Department security programs and overseas contingency operations. The vote came just hours after the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 in favor of repealing the ban.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen requested in April that lawmakers hold off on a vote until after a review was completed, but a compromise deal between Democratic lawmakers and the White House cleared the way for Congress to act on the issue.

The provision would not allow the repeal to take place until the Defense Department has finished its study on the impact of implementing a policy reversal. That study is due to Congress by Dec. 1. The legislative language also prohibits any policy change that would affect military readiness.

On the floor, supporters of the bill framed it as a push to end discrimination, while critics maintained that it would disrupt cohesiveness and morale in the Armed Forces.

President Obama announced he was pleased that Congress took bipartisan steps toward the repeal, but added, "key to successful repeal will be the ongoing Defense Department review."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.