With a few votes to spare, the Senate this morning passed the procedural hurdle — voting for cloture — on the standalone Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal bill. The full Senate will now vote, without risk of filibuster. From there, it’s sent to the president’s desk in time for a pre-Christmas signature. Keep in mind, kids: Signing the bill does not repeal the law. Military brass must “certify” the armed forces are ready for gay troops to serve openly, and there is no set timeline for them to do so. Repealing DADT, once Obama signs off on it, is then in the hands of Sec. Gates. So keep your sexuality to yourselves for the time being. But ya know what this means? According to Andrew Sullivan’s timeline, Joe Solmonese gets to keep his job. And isn’t that what everyone wanted Santa to give them this year? UPDATE: And it’s off to the president. Around 3:30pm EST, the Senate wrapped it up with a 65-31 vote to pass the bill.
The Republicans crossing the aisle to vote in favor of cloture were Scott Brown, Mark Kirk, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe, and George Voinovich. Joe Manchin, the lone Democrat who said he would not vote for the bill, was absent (though maybe he’ll show up to cast a No vote during the bill’s actual roll call?). Republicans Jim Bunning, Orrin Hatch, and Judd Gregg were also absent.
Now let’s give Sen. John McCain one more chance to write his name down in history as a certified bigot.
Meanwhile, what about the Log Cabin Republicans’ lawsuit against the federal government? Technically the courts don’t yet have reason to dismiss it — since Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is still, technically, alive and well. But once Gates signs off on implementing repeal, yes, that should be enough for LCR’s suit to be declared — legally — pointless, because the thing it was suing over is no longer a law.
Oh, and here’s Obama’s statement, because this man DESERVES ALL THE CREDIT: “By ending ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay. And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love.”