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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 14, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 20
Sen. Patty Murray signs on Senate bill to repeal DADT
Section One
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Sen. Patty Murray signs on Senate bill to repeal DADT

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington Senator Patty Murray is the latest co-sponsor of a bill to repeal the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.

Murray signed on to S 3605 - the Military Readiness Enhancement Act - on May 11.

The bill's stated purpose is 'to amend Title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.'

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) is the bill's prime sponsor in the Senate.

Murray's action coincided with Veterans Lobby Day, organized by Servicemembers United and the Human Rights Campaign.

At least 300 veterans participated in person in D.C., lobbying for repeal of DADT. Murray's office also reportedly received a flood of calls for repeal.

Contacted by SGN for comment, Murray sent the following statement:

"For far too long, we've asked those with the courage and honor to serve our nation to hide the truth about who they are as individuals. It's a policy that has failed in its intended goals and done a tremendous disservice to men and women who want nothing more than to defend their country. As top-ranking military officials have indicated, it's also a policy that simply doesn't work. It is clearly time to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

In his State of the Union address to Congress, Pres. Obama called for repeal of DADT in 2010.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has asked for a delay of up to a year to allow time for the DOD to complete a study on the effects of repeal.

Asked to clarify whether Murray agreed or disagreed with the delay, her spokesperson Eli Zupnik answered, "Sen. Murray co-sponsored this bill because she believes it's time to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell.'"

Murray becomes the 29th Senate co-sponsor of the bill. Sen. Maria Cantwell is also a co-sponsor.

The only Republican co-sponsor on the Senate side is Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon.

The companion bill on the House side, HR 1283, has 183 co-sponsors, including Washington Reps. Brian Baird (D-3), Norm Dicks (D-6), Jay Inslee (D-1), Rick Larson (D-2), Jim McDermott (D-7), and Adam Smith (D-9).

Republican House co-sponsors include Anh Cao of Louisiana and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.

Murray and Cantwell are also co-sponsors of ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as are all the Democratic House members from Washington state.

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