Senate Votes to Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

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The U.S. Senate voted today to concur with HR 2965 to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the U.S. Military. The bill now proceeds to President Obama, who has said he will sign the bill.

On Saturday, the Senate voted to proceed with debate on the bill, putting the long campaign to end the ban on gay men and lesbians closer to its conclusion.

Senators voted 63 to 33, including six Republicans, to overcome a Republican filibuster and proceed a final vote, scheduled for 3 p.m. EST. The likelihood that the ban would be repealed was high.

Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, voted against ending debate as well as the bill. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was not present for the vote.

Fifty-seven members of the Senate Democratic caucus and six Republicans — Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio) — voted yes.

President Obama released a statement after the cloture vote, saying: “It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed. It is time to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country openly. I urge the Senate to send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.”

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