Just posting them as they come in…
How they voted:
|Not Voting – 3
STATEMENT FROM OUTSERVE:
Today’s vote is heartbreaking and demoralizing to all members of OutServe – and the tens of thousands of gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members – who must continue to serve in silence and live a lie. No words can describe how it felt to watch our U.S. senators uphold discrimination and perpetuate the deceit and compromised integrity that consistently result under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We had more faith in our elected officials to heed the advice of military leadership and vote against prejudice. Instead, a minority of senators have successfully blockaded the entire defense spending bill on the basis of prejudice and politics. This was nothing short of turning their backs on the people that defend this country.
The men and women of our military have been left out to dry. The troops, not these senators, will have to live with the consequences. And the ongoing court cases will continue to sow confusion among the ranks.
The Senators that hid behind “procedure” chose to put politics over the lives of the troops. These senators should be ashamed.
Rest below fold.Servicemembers United:
Senate Fails to Move Forward on Critical Defense Authorization Bill
Support Exists and Time Still Remains for Stand-Alone DADT Repeal Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, issued the following statement regarding today’s failed Senate cloture vote on the motion to proceed to debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, which also contains a provision to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law:
“This was a major failure on the part of the Senate to simply do its job and pass an annual defense authorization bill. Politics prevailed over responsibility today, and now more than one million American servicemembers, including tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops, are worse off as a result,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “Since the votes are there in isolation, the Senate should still consider a stand-alone bill to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law before adjourning for the winter holidays.”
For more information about Servicemembers United and “Don’t Ask, Dont’ Tell,” please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org. For the most comprehensive collection of polling data, discharge statistics, academic works, legislative and congressional material, and more, visit www.DADTArchive.org.
TOMORROW @ NOON AT UPPER SENATE PARK
SLDN STATEMENT ON SENATE VOTE TO STOP REPEAL OF “DON’T ASK” / RALLY TOMORROW AT CAPITOL
“Today a band of Senators voted to continue the discrimination against gay and lesbian service members who are fighting and dying for our country. This continued delay is an outrage against these service members and the more than 14,000 who have already lost their jobs under this discriminatory law. History will hold these senators accountable and so will many of their constituents. There will be no place for these Senators to hide. The Senate and the President must remain in session and in Washington to find another path for repeal to get done in the lame-duck. While difficult, realistic options still exist for advocates and Senators to move repeal this year. We need to keep pushing as the Senate is scheduled to break for holiday vacation. We implore all who support repeal to join us outside the Senate this Friday. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, ‘If not now, when?’, said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
“ABOUT SLDN: SLDN was established in 1993 when “Don’t Ask” originally passed. In addition to working on repeal, SLDN offers free, confidential legal services to those impacted by DADT; this year the organization received its 10,000th call for assistance to its legal hotline.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 9, 2010
TAKING NOTHING FOR GRANTED, THE RALLY FOR REPEAL STILL PLANNED FOR FRIDAY:
WHAT: MISSION INCOMPLETE: NO SENATE VACATION UNTIL THE TASK IS FINISHED
WHERE: Constitution Ave. and Delaware Ave., NE, Upper Senate Park, North of U.S. Capitol
WHEN: Friday, December 10, 2010, 12:00 p.m. ET
SPREAD THE WORD:
–MISSION INCOMPLETE: NO SENATE VACATION UNTIL THE TASK IS FINISHED
–LINK TO AUTOMATICALLY UPLOAD ON FACEBOOK STATUS: http://on.fb.me/hFCbsP
–LINK TO AUTOMATICALLY UPLOAD ON TWITTER STATUS: http://bit.ly/fkfdX8
–TWITTER HASHTAG: #4REPEAL
–SHORT LINK FOR YOUR OWN ONLINE POST: http://bit.ly/ebbDoj
STILL AT RISK: “As the U.S. Senate votes on repeal legislation, service members still cannot come out. A general recently approved the separation of an SLDN client serving overseas in the U.S. Air Force. This service member now faces an administrative separation board. If the discharge moves forward, the fate of the service member’s career will ultimately fall to Secretary Michael B. Donley, Dept. of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson, and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Dr. Clifford L. Stanley.” Warning to service members: www.SLDN.org/StillAtRisk
SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Gay and lesbian service members with questions on repeal are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: 202-328-3244 x100.
Fate of Lesbian & Gay Service Members in President’s Hands
President Must Stop Legal Defense of DADT and Issue Stop-Loss Order
WASHINGTON – Today the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, called on President Obama to end the legal defense of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and to halt discharges of lesbian, gay and bisexual service members in the wake of news that the Senate will not finish the job on legislative repeal. As HRC President Joe Solmonese outlined in an October letter, the Administration should call “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” what it is – an unconstitutional and discriminatory law that hurts our national security – and cease its legal defense of the statute. Separately, the President needs to immediately use his powers as Commander in Chief to issue a stop-loss order halting discharges.
“The Senate’s apparent refusal to act on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal makes Presidential action imperative in order for him to fulfill his state of the union promise,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The only measure of success is an end to the discharges and anything less is unacceptable.”
Under his powers to ensure national security following the September 11 attacks, the President has the ability to issue stop-loss orders preventing certain service members from discharge. Pending an enduring solution to this unjust and discriminatory law, the President can and should suspend DADT-related discharges under the stop-loss provision.
“In this time of war, we cannot sustain a policy that has already deprived our military of thousands of service members, many with critical skills in fighting terrorism,” said Solmonese.
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law has also been embroiled in seemingly endless legal wrangling with the administration defending the law’s constitutionality in court. HRC once again encourages the President to abandon that defense. Should the administration decide to proceed, the President can at least instruct government lawyers to inform the appellate court that the Executive Branch believes “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to be unconstitutional.
“Every day that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is in force, Americans are losing out on the best and brightest service members defending our country,” added Solmonese. “If Congress won’t act, it’s up to the President to clean up the mess they made when they enacted this discriminatory and unconstitutional law nearly two decades ago.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
# # #
I have to be honest — I just vomited a little in my mouth.
The Senate just voted on whether to bring the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) up for conversation. Not for passage — just for conversation. It failed.
We all laid everything we could on the line for this bill — a piece of legislation that would have repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We all know that gay and lesbian Americans are just as patriotic and capable as straight Americans — but dysfunctional Senate processes, a homophobic Republican Party, and a spineless Democratic Party got in the way of equality once again.
Let us be clear — this wasn’t the bill we wanted. This compromised piece of legislation was far from the ideal — it would have left our transgender sisters and brothers behind, it kicked actual repeal to some undefined date later down the road, and it said nothing about how to deal with lesbian or gay enlistees who have partners who must remain second-class citizens because their lives are still ruled by the Defense of Marriage Act.
And even this compromised piece of legislation didn’t pass.
If we’re ever going to fight back against these kinds of compromises, we’ve got to build a ground game that disallows anything less than full equality.
We’re working on developing that ground game, and we’ll have more to say about it in coming weeks.
For now, we mourn for the LGBT servicemembers serving each day in silence — some of whom will lose their lives without ever tasting equality. We mourn for the lack of courage shown by our elected leaders to put an end to needless discrimination.
But we should remain inspired by the fight left in us. Go on Facebook. Go on Twitter. Get out into the streets. Call up your friends. Get angry, and then get organized.
We’ll help — and we promise that we’re going to continue building a movement from the ground up that no longer settles for this kind of political homophobia and transphobia.
Managing Director, GetEQUAL
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force denounces Senate vote blocking action on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal, calls it ‘huge disgrace and disservice to our country’
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 – The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force strongly denounced the U.S. Senate’s failure today to allow a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, blocking action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“The Senate’s failure to allow a vote on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal is a huge disgrace and disservice to our country. Senators had an opportunity – and an obligation – to move toward ending an outdated, unnecessary and costly policy that discriminates against courageous and qualified people willing to risk their lives by serving in the military. How many more personal and painful stories of discrimination must these lawmakers hear before they act to end this harmful policy? How many more exhaustive Pentagon studies need to be done that affirm it’s time to end the ban? Three-quarters of Americans say ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ should be repealed, as do top military leaders. People from every background, every faith, every community across the country know that qualified, patriotic Americans willing to risk their lives by serving in the military should be able to do so, free of discrimination.
“Despite today’s obstructionism by a few politicians, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end. We will continue to work to ensure all qualified Americans who wish to serve their country openly and freely are able to do so. We must, because the lives and livelihoods of thousands of dedicated service members hang in the balance.”
To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, visit www.theTaskForce.org and follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce (http://www.twitter.com/theTaskForce).
MassEquality Statement on Failure of U.S. Senator Scott Brown To Vote To Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
BOSTON, DECEMBER 9, 2010 – Statement by MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini, Esq. on failure of U.S. Senator Scott Brown to vote to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
“It is outrageous that Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown failed to vote in favor of ending debate so that the U.S. Senate could take up repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ There is nothing courageous about his saying he would vote to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ as he did last week, only to hide behind a procedural maneuver so that he would never have to take that vote. And although he likes to call himself an independent Republican, there is nothing independent about voting in lockstep with a political party intent on blocking LGBT equality at every turn. Today, Scott Brown thumbed his nose at the supermajority of Americans, Massachusetts citizens, and servicemembers who support the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and placed himself not only on the wrong side of the Massachusetts electorate, but on the wrong side of history.
“With today’s vote, Brown has ensured that our national security will remain compromised as discharges of talented and critically trained servicemembers will continue. To date, more than 14,000 servicemembers have been discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ including more than 60 Arabic linguists, and nearly 800 other service members in critical occupational fields.”
MassEquality is the state’s only grassroots LGBT advocacy organization. It works to ensure that every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person in Massachusetts is protected from cradle to grave-with equal rights and opportunities in school, in marriage and family life, at work and in retirement.