By a vote of 63-33, the United States Senate today voted to invoke cloture and end debate on a standalone bill aimed at repealing the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law, which bans gay and lesbian troops from serving openly. This means the bill can now be passed with the support of a simple majority of Senators, which it clearly has.
Today we join the LGBT community and its allies in celebrating the U.S. Senate's successful cloture vote on the bill that would repeal the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
We would also like to applaud those in the media who spent 2010 both asking and telling: asking the American people what they think, and telling the stories of the men and women affected by this discriminatory law. But the media’s job is not over.
Throughout this discussion, opponents of repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ have threatened quite a few “the sky is falling” scenarios. And many media outlets gave opponents of LGBT rights a platform through which to make these claims. It is now the media’s responsibility to follow up. What will really happen to recruitment and retention? How will this really affect the jobs of our military’s chaplains? Based on the examples of our military allies, the answer will be “nothing.” And it’s the media’s job to show this to the American people.
After a few months, the American people will see their arguments for what they were – nothing but hurtful hyperbole and empty rhetoric. We’ll be working throughout the New Year to ensure that the media highlights the realities of military life, once the shadow of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is gone for good.