Moments ago, in a vote of 250 to 175 the House voted to approve a stand-alone measure to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, paving the way for Senate action in the coming weeks. Fifteen Republicans voted for repeal, 10 more than had supported May’s vote for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). During the debate’s more animated moments, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) spoke out against repeal by explaining that the military “isn’t the YMCA” and Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) warned that ending the policy would “drop the bomb of social experimentation” on the military. Rep. Louie Gohmet (R-TX) delivered the most impassioned speech against repeal, suggesting that the countries with open services were “near the end of their existence” and saying that homosexuality could be tolerated if gay people could control their hormones:
GOHMERT: To my friend who said that history would judge us poorly, I would submit if you would look thoroughly at history — and I’m not saying it’s cause and effect — but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that “fine for homosexuality to be overt” — you can keep it private and control your hormones fine, if you can’t, that’s fine too — they’re toward the end of their existence as a great nation.
Watch his remarks:
The bill will now move to the Senate as a privileged “message.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will be able to call up the measure without voting on a motion to proceed, saving some 30 hours of debate in the Senate, and will have to hold firm against Republican efforts to filibuster or attach amendments to the legislation. Under this scenario, the Senate bill would have to be identical to the House version or else it would have to return to the House for another vote. Reid has pledged to keep the Senate in session as long as possible to bring repeal to the floor, but his office has not yet issued a possible time frame for floor consideration.