Media Outlets Closely Monitor "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Developments

Media outlets are continuing to cover various perspectives on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” after yesterday’s successful passage of a stand-alone bill in the House of Representatives, while supporters of repeal hope a Senate vote will take place before the end of the year.

The 47 Senate co-sponsors of the bill seem especially confident now that Senators Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe have pledged their support. Senator Brown previously said he would support repeal after the Senate passed tax cut extensions and discussed a budget proposal, and he confirmed his vote this morning. Senator Snowe pledged her support on Wednesday afternoon, even while representatives in the House were still casting their own votes. She made her decision “after careful analysis … and thorough consideration” of the Pentagon’s recent report. Brown and Snowe join fellow Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in their approval. Every Senate vote is crucial in Democrats’ attempt to secure the required 60 supporters to block a filibuster, and the New York Times puts the current estimate at 61. President Obama continues to support repeal and praised the passage of the bill in the House, saying the legislation would give the armed forces “the clarity and certainty it deserves.”

The remaining factor that skeptics anticipate could destroy the bill is what Senator Joe Lieberman describes as “a totally unacceptable refusal to bring our measure up in a timely way.” The bill is bypassing several procedural rules in the Senate due to its privileged status, and the Washington Post reports Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this afternoon appeared to commit to holding the vote on the stand-alone repeal bill, but said he might not schedule the DADT repeal vote before Christmas. And, according to Politico, Reid has told his caucus that he intends to hold another vote before the end of this Congressional session.

An editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle urges prompt repeal, saying that “the U.S. Senate is out of excuses.” Likewise, the Huffington Post criticizes Senator John McCain’s consistent opposition to repeal as “prejudiced, not principled.” Meanwhile, the Washington Post is already looking ahead, speculating what Senator Joe Lieberman’s role in the repeal movement will play when he is up for reelection in 2012.

Finally, polls are still being conducted to examine American opinion on the law. A Washington Post-ABC News poll says that nearly 8 in Americans support repeal – reflecting previous public opinion data and long-term trends.

GLAAD will continue to examine coverage on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and urges the Senate to take the time to vote on this issue pertinent to so many citizens.

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