By JIM ABRAMS
Associated Press Writer Jim Abrams
WASHINGTON - A Senate committee on Thursday took a first step toward ending the policy that allows gays to serve in the military only if they don't disclose their sexual orientation.
In a 16-12 vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a provision to repeal the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the only Republican to vote for the amendment to a defense spending bill, said it passed after "vigorous and aggressive debate."
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