House passes ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal
Washington (CNN) — The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to overturn the ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers serving in the U.S. military, passing legislation repealing the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The bill — a so-called “stand alone” measure not tied to any other legislative items — passed 250 to 175 on mostly partisan lines. It now advances to the Senate.
The House previously passed a repeal of the ban as part of a larger defense spending authorization bill, but the measure stalled last week in the Senate.
Also Wednesday, moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine announced her support for repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but only after the Senate completes work on the tax and benefits package and a measure authorizing continued government spending this fiscal year.
Snowe became the fourth Republican to publicly support a repeal, giving Democrats an opening to overcome a certain Republican filibuster. Sensing momentum on the issue, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Wednesday for Senate approval so that the repeal can be signed into law.
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