Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would repeal the ban on openly gay men and lesbians in the United States armed forces, The New York Times reports.
“If Americans want to serve, they ought to have the right to be considered for that service regardless of characteristics such as race, religion, gender or sexual orientation," said Lieberman.
It is unclear whether Lieberman’s bill, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, will garner the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate.
"I think a guess right now -- and this is really a guess -- if this bill came to a vote tomorrow, we'd have over 50 votes and that's saying a lot," Lieberman told the Advocate "Do we have 60? Not clear yet, but possible."
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) told The Washington Post on Thursday that a vote on Lieberman’s bill will most likely come in May as part of the annual defense authorization bill.
The repeal is still facing some staunch opposition from Republican lawmakers, however.
Rachel Maddow sternly criticized one such opponent last night on her MSNBC program, The Rachel Maddow Show.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the amount of service members lost to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is “not significant.”
Maddow answered Rep. Wilson’s outrageous assertion with the story of Air Force Major Michael Almy, who was discharged after 13 years of service because of his sexual orientation.
GLAAD commends Rachel Maddow and other mainstream journalists who continue to shine a spotlight on the concrete harms of barring qualified gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces. We will continue to follow the media’s coverage of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. For more information on the myths and facts surrounding the impact of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell click here to read about our collaboration with Media Matters for America.