Friday, December 17, 2010

DADT repeal

Sen. Harry Reid has filed for a cloture vote (which prevents filibustering) on the bill to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." When it will actually happen depends on a couple of things. First of all, the DREAM act, which would "provide certain illegal and deportable alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. illegally as minors, and have been in the country continuously and illegally for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency" is up for a cloture. It may or may not get the 60 votes it needs to move to a second vote. (It's a good bill. I wish it had the votes; I suspect it doesn't.) If it doesn't, then Reid will move for a vote on the DADT repeal bill. If that then gets 60 votes (and many people seem to think it will) then it becomes a question of timing and political will. If (but it's a very big if) senators agree to forgo the usual 30 hours of debate, then they can move immediately to a second vote. If it passes, then, yay, it goes to Pres. Obama for signing, DADT will be repealed, queer citizens will be able to serve openly, and there will be parties all over this country.

If the Senate requires 30 hours of debate, and if those 30 hours of debate can't be shoe-horned into this legislative session, DADT won't happen legislatively. Not for years. Then it will be up the courts.

So click your heels three times and make a wish. Because once the armed forces are equal opportunity, other Federal changes will have to follow swiftly. And you know what that means: wedding presents! So phone your senators, and start saving your pennies...

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