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Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) To Introduce DADT Repeal Bill in Senate

Servicemembers United sent out the following press release this morning:

Lieberman to Introduce “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Bill in Senate

Announcement Continues Historic Momentum Toward Legislative Action in 2010



WASHINGTON, DC – Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies, enthusiastically lauded today’s news that Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) would soon be introducing a bill in the U.S. Senate to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. The revelation came by way of an interview given to James Kirchick for an article published overnight by the New York Daily News.

“This is yet another historic step for the movement to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law and a welcomed moment for the tens of thousands of men and women who continue to be impacted by this unnecessary and outdated law,” said Alexander Nicholson, a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the current Executive Director of Servicemembers United.

“We are exceedingly proud of the courage and leadership that Senator Lieberman is showing, and we strongly urge the White House and the Democratic leadership in Congress to proactively support Senator Lieberman’s forthcoming bill.”

“I have been asked by both the White House and by advocacy groups within the gay rights community to be the lead sponsor, and I’m glad to do it,” Lieberman is quoted as saying.

Last month, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that they now support repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law as long as the Pentagon could first do an implementation management analysis before full repeal goes into effect. Admiral Mullen also mentioned that he would like to see a subsequent transition period over which the policy change could be phased in.

In response to the opportunity presented by this historic testimony, Servicemembers United recently resurfaced its “Set End-date / Delayed Implementation” model for repeal legislation and made the case for the introduction and adoption of such legislation in 2010. The proposal would see to it that full repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law gets locked in this year while also allowing the Pentagon time to complete it’s analysis.

To strengthen the prospects for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and to reduce political risk, the President can still order the Pentagon to include “Set End-date / Delayed Implementation” repeal language in one of the legislative policy transmittals that will soon be sent to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees by the Department of Defense. These policy proposal packages serve as indications of White House and Pentagon support for policy changes to be included in the next National Defense Authorization Act.

Additionally, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee could insert Senator Lieberman’s new bill into the Chairman’s mark of the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, which will soon be drafted. Such a move, especially in combination with the Presidential action through Pentagon policy transmittals, could turn out to be the path of least resistance for repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and could help shield vulnerable members of the President’s and the Chairman’s own party.

Servicemembers United’s “Set End-date / Delayed Implementation” repeal plan can be found at For more information on Servicemembers United, please visit For the latest information on polling, statistics, studies, and other archival information related to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” issue, please visit


Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education, advocacy, and lobbying on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.

Seems the rumors last October were true after all…

Will update this post below the fold as reactions to this news come in.(10 am update) Senator Lieberman has released the following statement:

Lieberman Announces Plan to Introduce Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today issued the following statement regarding his intent to introduce legislation to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

“I will be proud to be a sponsor of the important effort to enable patriotic gay Americans to defend our national security and our founding values of freedom and opportunity. I have opposed the current policy of preventing gay Americans from openly serving in the military since its enactment in 1993. To exclude one group of Americans from serving in the armed forces is contrary to our fundamental principles as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and weakens our defenses by denying our military the service of a large group of Americans who can help our cause.  I am grateful for the leadership of President Obama to repeal the policy and the support of Secretary Gates and Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen.”

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