HRC Blog

Sen. Lieberman Taking on Senate DADT Repeal Leadership

This morning's big news on the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law is that Connecticut's Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman will be the lead sponsor of the Senate bill to allow openly lesbian and gay troops to serve their country.  The New York Daily News quotes Sen. Lieberman as saying, "What matters is not the gender of the other person in your unit or the color or the religion or in this case the sexual orientation. It's whether that person is a good soldier you can depend on. And that's why I think it's going to work." Sen. Lieberman’s announcement is a welcome next development following what has already been a historic several weeks in the campaign to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" and his leadership on this bill is another positive sign that the ban on open service can end this year. He now joins a growing consensus of military leaders, public officials and the American public. Since President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last month those speaking out against DADT include: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates; General Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the largest organization of retired U.S. military reserve officers in the nation; and former Vice President and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.  Additionally, A New York Times/CBS News national poll conducted on February 5th – 10th, 2010 shows yet again that a majority of Americans support repeal.  In fact, a new CNN/Opinion Research survey released today shows 69% of Americans favor allowing open service, with 27 percent opposed. In other DADT news, the New York Times reports on a new study from the Palm Center which concludes that a speedy implementation of open service is not disruptive and implementing a policy of open service does not undermine morale or increase incidences of harassment.  Additionally this weekend Gen. David Petraeus spoke about the policy on "Meet The Press" saying that he's served alongside lesbians and gays in combat and that he's not sure troops in the field really care about their fellow soldier's sexual orientation.

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