(JTA) — The Reform movement’s Religious Action Center urged U.S. senators to support legislation repealing the government’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy.
In a letter to members of the Senate, Religious Action Center Associate Director Mark Pelavin wrote, "We are pleased that the White House and military leaders have recognized the urgency of repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” while respecting the complexity and seriousness of the issue, as evidenced by the ongoing Defense Department review of the sixteen-year-old policy. Already, however, it is clear that the policy does not live up to our nation’s highest ideals of liberty and freedom, nor does it meet our security needs."
On Tuesday afternoon, The Senate voted 56 to 43 to block debate on the bill, an annual bill wich authorizes military programs. All of the Senate Republicans voted to block the debate, with Demorats short of the neccesary votes to defeat a filibuster and bring the bill up for a vote. The bill will likely come up again after the November mid-term elelctions.
"The Senate’s repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the Defense Authorization Act is a crucial step toward creating a more just and compassionate military. We must no longer allow prejudice to deprive our nation of the skills and commitment of talented and patriotic men and women," the letter concluded.