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Sacramento, CA – May 27, 2010 – Today the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to allow the repeal of the long-standing ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. Military.
This evening the United States House of Representatives voted on striking down “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and with a vote of 234 Yea and 194 Nay, the repeal bill passed. In the end 5 Republicans voted for it and 26 Democrats voted against. The bill needed at least 218 votes to pass. After the results were announced, applause rang out in the otherwise stoic House Chambers.
The highly controversial issue will move to the full Senate floor sometime this summer.
In a statement released by Wendy Rae Hill, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, Hill exclaimed, “I am proud of our Nation's Leaders. One's sexual orientation should not be a factor in serving and protecting our country.”
Ken Pierce, a spokesperson for Equality Action Now, a Sacramento grassroots civil rights organization says, “There are thousands of brave LGBT service members who are currently serving in all areas of military service. Soon they will be able to be truthful about who they are without fear of losing their job. I don’t think repealing this bill will do any kind of damage to morale in the military. Remember we are about to join a long list of countries, all of them allies that did away with discrimination long ago. They realized the importance of retaining highly dedicated and skilled men and women rather then booting those key personnel to the street. Finally we may be able to truly change, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Care”.