DADT Vote Coming Next Week (Thanks Lady Gaga!)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday pledged a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the controversial policy barring gays from serving openly in the military, as early as next week.

Maybe it was Lady Gaga’s Tweet earlier today urging fans to call the senator and demand a vote that finally forced the issue. I’d guess that wasn’t the deciding factor though, as DADT has been on the agenda for some time now and was moved slightly higher last week after a court threw out the ban. But Reid replied to Gaga via Twitter that a vote is coming next week. “Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so,” Reid said. (He also urged her to “Come back to Vegas soon!”)

Reid said in a more formal statement that a measure to repeal the 17-year-old policy would be included in the Defense Authorization bill. “We will finally send a loud and clear message that everyone who steps up to serve our country should and will be welcomed regardless of sexual orientation,” said Reid.

Senate removal of the ban would also take some of the pressure off the Obama administration on the issue. While Obama has pledged to end the policy, his administration has defended it in court on the argument that Congress should determine military policy. A federal judge ruled last week that the policy violates service members’ Fifth Amendment rights to due process and First Amendment rights to free speech.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.