Gay Rights

Senate Advances DADT

The Senate voted 63-33 Saturday to advance legislation to repeal a 17-year-old ban on openly gay soldiers in the military. The Don't Ask Don't Tell ban will be voted on at 3 p.m. and could reach President Obama's desk for approval by the end of this year. Republicans, who blocked the bill twice in the past, may have been swayed by a recent study published by the Pentagon. The study, which has been approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shows that openly gay soldiers have no effect on combat performance. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), along with a small contingent of Republicans are firmly against the bill, saying that it would be dangerous to pass the DADT repeal during wartime. Last week the House approved the bill.