Main | Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DADT Cloture Vote Reactions

Stonewall Democrats
"Senate Republicans have tragically blocked the National Defense Authorization Act because it contains language to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," showing themselves to be far outside of the American mainstream. Their actions today are just more obstructionism and willful disregard of what 8 in 10 Americans want. It is a sad the lengths the GOP will go to in order to discriminate against soldiers who want to serve our country openly, honorably and with integrity. It is nothing short of a slap in the face to their service in their fight for our freedoms. Today, one man's bigotry and opinions proved how out of touch the GOP is with the majority of Americans. Today Senator John McCain held back progress and history. Senator McCain along with the rest of the Republican party is consistently out of touch with the values that Americans hold true to in 2010.”
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
“Once again, politicians are playing politics with people's lives. Filibustering the defense authorization bill to block action on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal and the DREAM Act — two measures that do justice to the fundamental principle of fairness — is a disappointment and disservice to our country. Seventy-eight percent of Americans support ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and countless others believe that young people should be provided a path to citizenship in the country they love and have always called home. Today's Senate vote mocks those ideals. The senators who led and supported the filibuster effort should be ashamed.”
Human Rights Campaign
Today our military readiness and national security were set back as Senator John McCain successfully led a Republican filibuster of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to which the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is attached. Not since 1948 has Congress failed to act on the NDAA. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has committed to bringing the bill back up following the election. “This filibuster was election year politics at its worst,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It’s a shame that during a time of war, Republican Senators wouldn’t even allow debate on the bill that provides a pay raise for our troops.”
Today is a disappointing day for everyone who has engaged in this fight over the years -- for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, Outserve, Knights OUT, countless servicemembers who have taken action with us, and the active-duty servicemembers across the globe who are being forced to remain closeted while serving our country. We thank them for their service and we stand steadfast in our commitment to serve them as they have served us. We are calling on President Obama to show the courage and leadership required of the Commander in Chief to unequivocally state that military discharges must end immediately. Our elected leaders have demonstrated that they are either unwilling or unable to do the right thing. Now it's time for our "fierce advocate" to step up to the plate for us.
“Just now on the floor of the Senate, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a consent agreement that would have allowed for a vote on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal and provided a fair framework for the debate. Unfortunately, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected this offer – and as a result, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal has died in the Senate. “The defeat of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal lies solely with Harry Reid and the Democrat leadership. Harry Reid is playing political games with the lives of the brave gay men and women serving in our military. It's clear now that Lady GaGa should have held her Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal rally in Nevada instead of Maine.”
Servicemembers United
"Today's vote is a failure of leadership on the part of those who have been duly elected to serve this nation and to put the best interests of the country ahead of partisan politics," said Alexander Nicholson, founder and Executive Director of Servicemembers United. "The Senate could learn a good lesson from those who serve in uniform and who stand to benefit from proceeding to debate on this bill - serving this country means putting politics aside and getting the job done. It is simply inexcusable that this vote failed today." The votes to break the filibuster had previously been lined up, but last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to use an uncommon procedural privilege on the bill that eroded support for breaking the filibuster and guaranteed the vote's failure. Intense lobbying and public pressure over the past week proved not to be enough to force either side to back down. The Senate will not likely take up the defense authorization bill again until after the mid-term elections in November.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
“Today’s Senate vote was a frustrating blow to repeal this horrible law. We lost because of the political maneuvering dictated by the mid-term elections. Let’s be clear: Opponents to repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ did not have the votes to strike those provisions from the bill. Instead, they had the votes for delay. Time is the enemy here. We now have no choice but to look to the lame duck session where we’ll have a slim shot. The Senate absolutely must schedule a vote in December when cooler heads and common sense are more likely to prevail once midterm elections are behind us. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network will continue to take this fight to the American people, the vast majority of whom support repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”

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