Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is said to be planning a Senate vote on whether to end debate on $725.7 billon annual defense policy bill which includes a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) law which bans gays from openly serving in our nation's armed forces.
Reid will need to get 60 votes to end the now standard Republican-led filibuster against passage.
While the fact that the Republicans are filibustering is not hard to understand anymore, as they have filibustered or threatened to filibuster nearly every piece of legislation that has come for a vote since President Barack Obama took office in January of 2009.
What is hard to understand is why Republicans are so afraid of homosexuality? To hide their pure and simple homophobia, they hide behind cryptic ancient scripture and interpret the bible to suit their homophobia. They hide behind military reasons even though 36 nations have no such ban, and many of our strongest allies such as the UK, Canada and France allow openly gay men and women to serve in the military and the sky hasn't fallen.
Even some of our nation's top military leaders have spoken out in favor of repealing DADT, but that hasn't been enough to sway Republicans from their deep-seated fear of homosexuals. It is really quite pitiful that these same Republicans, those who claim to be leaders of their party, will allow their fear to dictate their actions when the fact is, that since the DADT policy went into effect in 1993, our country has lost the valuable service of over 13,000 gay men and women who have been discharged under the policy. 13,000 men and women who volunteered to serve their country have been rejected by a nation whose social fears and conservatism override any sense of the actual loss or harm DADT has had on our military service men and women, the very people who would most benefit from the expertise of a gay fighter pilot, or gay Arab translator.
It's time the Republicans set aside their political agenda of "No," set aside their homophobia and finally do what's right for the nation. It's time for Republicans to get out from behind their bibles, and stand up for all the military men and women, even those who are gay. Their lives are at stake every day of service, just as much as those who aren't. They deserve the same military protections and support as any man or woman who risks all to serve our country.
Sources: Washington Post, Wikipedia