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Wednesday DADT Repeal Open Thread

NOTE: New Blend content is below this post, which will be on top during proceedings.

1:45pm Update: Chellie Pingree has just started off the 1 hour long debate in the House for DADT repeal.

Kerry Eleveld tweeted earlier today that the vote itself will be between 3-4 pm.

Watch C-SPAN livestream online for DADT repeal.

Watch C-SPAN 2 livestream online for tax bill and later START treaty.

ABC News is reporting broad support and strong numbers for DADT repeal this morning:

Seventy-seven percent of Americans support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military, the most in polling back 17 years, capping a dramatic long-term shift in public attitudes on the issue.

That result in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll comes as the House prepares to vote on legislation that would repeal the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a measure previously approved in the House as part of a larger bill, but stalled in the Senate.

When first asked in an ABC/Post poll in 1993, 63 percent of Americans favored allowing service by homosexuals who don’t reveal their sexual orientation – the “don’t tell” policy; far fewer, 44 percent, supported service by gays who do reveal their sexual orientation.

Both views have changed, the latter most sharply. Today 83 percent favor allowing service by gays who don’t tell, up 20 points – and, as noted, almost as many also favor service by gays and lesbians who do disclose their sexual orientation, up 33 points from its 1993 level.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) released the following to Maine media this morning:


TODAY: Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to lead the fight to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  

Vote in House may come as early as today


Congresswoman Chellie Pingree will manage debate this morning on a bill that would put an end to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.  Pingree will speak in favor of repeal. A vote on the bill could come as early as today.


U.S. House of Representatives and broadcast on CSPAN1 (channel 16 on Time Warner in the Greater Portland area)


The debate may start as early as 11:00 this morning, but the actual start time is still to be determined.


Pingree is a co-sponsor of a bill in the House that would end the policy of banning openly gay men and women from serving in the military.  She will be the first to speak on the bill this morning and manage the debate on the floor of the House.  

Here is how the AP reported on the bill:

The move would put pressure on the Senate to delay its holiday adjournment plans and take up a [standalone repeal bill] sponsored last week by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Connecticut’s independent senator, Joseph Lieberman. That bill’s fate has been in doubt because of other pressing issues facing the Senate with only days to go before it planned to conclude its lame-duck session.

Repeal advocates see this week as their last best shot at overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which bars gay troops from acknowledging their sexual orientation. Next year, Republicans take back control of the House and additional Senate seats, severely undercutting the chances that any Democratic priority will advance come January.

The House opened up at 10 am and is going through their usual morning routine of 1 minute speeches. Listening to Joe Wilson and Mike Pence seems a small price to pay, to witness what may be the final chances of DADT repeal in Congress today!

DADT repeal expected to be brought up in the House some time late this morning. (10:25 am- Ca Rep. Joe Garamendi was the first to mention today’s potential vote and just used his 1 minute speech to discuss a soldier discharged under DADT, making a strong case for repeal)

More below the fold, including press releases as they come in.There’s a certain Democratic Senator from West Virginia who is getting an idea of how his constituents feel about his recent vote:

West Virginia Veteran Discharged Under DADT to Deliver Petition Signatures to Sen. Manchin’s Office Today at 11 a.m.

Charleston, W.V.– Fairness WV, the Mountain’s State’s leading LGBT rights organization, and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) will deliver more than 800 petitions to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) Charleston and Washington, D.C. offices urging him to vote to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).” In Charleston, Pepe Johnson, a veteran who was discharged under DADT, will be delivering the petitions.

What: Petition delivery to Sen. Joe Manchin


1.) Sen. Joe Manchin’s Office, 300 Virginia Street, East, Suite 2630, Charleston, W.Va.

2.) Sen. Manchin’s Capitol Hill Office, 311 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.


11:00 a.m., December 15, 2010


Sen. Manchin originally voted against cloture on the National Defense Authorization Act, legislation that includes repeal of DADT. His vote is counter to the Secretary of Defense, the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) a majority of military families, and an even wider majority of the American people.

1pm Update: Aadding a press release from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

DADT Message Alert:

Outside Groups Continue to Express Support for Legislation to Allow for Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Today the House will vote on Rep. Patrick Murphy’s bill that enables repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, on which Majority Leader Hoyer is lead co-sponsor. This standalone bill is identical to the Murphy amendment to the FY11 Defense Authorization bill, which passed 234-194. Wanted to make sure your boss saw the following quotes of support from outside organizations for this legislation:

From Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA):

“IAVA thanks Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Congressman Patrick Murphy for their leadership on the landmark legislation to repeal DADT. We share Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen and both Congressmen’s views that a prolonged court battle resulting from failure to repeal DADT legislatively would be extremely damaging and disruptive to our armed forces.  Our military needs clear leadership and guidance on this policy to maintain the highest level of cohesion, effectiveness and readiness. That clarity can only come with legislative action now.

“On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members nationwide, we appreciate Majority Leader Hoyer and Congressman Murphy’s dedication and commitment to getting this bill passed. We strongly urge the House to approve this legislation swiftly so it can move to the Senate for consideration without further delay.”

From Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under DADT:

“Support for repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is at an all-time high, with an overwhelming majority of Americans and servicemembers now wanting this policy to just go away. Furthermore, there are currently more than 60 votes in the Senate for repealing this law, so all members of the House of Representatives should feel confident that a vote for repeal today will likely spell the end of this outdated law once and for all.”

Winnie Stachelberg, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Center for American Progress

Action Fund:

“The Center for American Progress Action Fund urges all House members to vote in favor of H.R. 6520, the Hoyer-Murphy bill which will repeal the costly and discriminatory DADT law and place implementation of repeal firmly in the hands of our nation’s military leaders. Our troops, their leaders, and the American public all agree that it is time for the DADT law to be repealed.”

Third Way:

“Our military leaders have spent the past year studying this issue and, after a lengthy and careful assessment, have found that there is minimal risk to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. They have laid out a plan to implement this change and to carry out an orderly transition to a new policy. It is now incumbent upon Congress to untie the hands of our military leaders and allow them to put their well-considered plan into action, by passing repeal before the end of the 111th Congress. If they fail to act, it will leave the military at risk of a unilateral, court-mandated end to the policy-an outcome that no one thinks is best for our troops.”

Human Rights Campaign:

“The path to enact civil and human rights laws always has twists and turns and is never easy.  The Human Rights Campaign is grateful to the US House of Representatives for continuing to push for equality in our country.  This is an historic moment and members of the House are ready to advance the arc of justice.”

“Later today members of the U.S. House of Representatives have the opportunity to send a message to our troops that their service is valued.  This is a matter of integrity – that of our servicemembers and that of our country.  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has forced patriotic Americans to make the choice between the truth and serving the country they love.  Let’s put national security and the integrity of our troops first today.”

Additional information is available on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” group on DemCom.

Visit for more press, floor and member resources.

2pm addition of press release from Servicemembers United

DADT Repeal Advocates Storm Capitol Hill in Waning Days of Lame Duck

with Servicemembers United Action Fund Lobbying Blitz




WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, announced today that teams of DADT repeal advocates will be fanning out across Capitol Hill on Wednesday to encourage Senators to support staying in session until the stand-alone “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill comes up for a vote. The initiative, termed “OPERATION RENEWED ENGAGEMENT,” will continue throughout Thursday and Friday of this week as well.

“This lobbying blitz is intended to raise visibility for the issue on Capitol Hill, get the message across to Senate offices that we have more than 60 votes for repeal, and encourage Senators to agree to stay in session until the stand-alone repeal bill gets a vote,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the Servicemembers United Action Fund.

“Those who wish to join in the effort on Thursday and Friday should contact us immediately. This is it for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and we need all the help we can get to ensure final victory.”

Repeal supporters interested in joining OPERATION RENEWED ENGAGEMENT on the afternoons of Thursday, December 16th and/or Friday, December 17th should contact Jarrod Chlapowski at


Servicemembers United Action Fund, a non-profit and non-partisan organization,  engages in lobbying, grassroots organizing, and advocacy on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.

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