U.S. House Overturns "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

By: CBS
By: CBS

President Obama is praising a House vote to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and allow gays to serve openly in the military, but the bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

The house vote was not even close.

"The Yea's are 250... the Nay's are 175. The motion is adopted," said Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA.

Democrats pushed through a last-minute bill that would repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays in the military.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell doesn’t contribute to our national security and it contravenes our American values," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Republicans had argued this is the wrong time to make this change in military policy.

"We should do nothing at this time to threaten the readiness of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who are at the tip of the spear, fighting America's two wars," said Rep. Buck McKeon, R-CA.

More than 13,000 service men and women have been discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" since it went into effect in 1993.

Former Air Force Major Michael Almy was let go after commanders read his personal emails.

"This had a huge disruptive effect upon my unit, upon my squadron,” Major Almy said. “The mission suffered, the morale suffered, the cohesion suffered."

He served four deployments in the Middle East and hopes to return.

“I want to serve with integrity, with honor, without sacrificing my personal values, without having to lie every day about who I am," he said.

A recent Pentagon survey found 70 percent of troops think repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would not cause major problems.

The bill now heads to the Senate, but time is running out to act on it, before the end of the lame-duck session.

Supporters say the bill has enough votes to pass in the Senate if Senate leaders have time to bring it up for a vote.


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