US House votes to allow open gays serve in military

December 16, 2010 09:29


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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives has for the second time this year voted to dismantle the US military's so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy, giving the Senate a final shot in the waning days of this Congress at changing a law that forces thousands of uniformed gays to hide their sexual orientation.

The strong 250-175 House vote Wednesday propels the issue to the Senate, where supporters of the repeal say they have the votes but it is uncertain whether they will have the time to get the bill to the Senate floor. It could be the last chance for some time to end the 1993 law that forbids recruiters from asking about sexual orientation while prohibiting soldiers from acknowledging that they are gay.

Democratic leaders in the Senate say they are committed to bring the bill to the floor before Congress adjourns for the year before Christmas. They are challenged by opposition from some Republicans and a daunting agenda that includes finishing work on legislation to pay for government operations and to ratify a nuclear arms treaty with Russia.

No time has been set for a Senate vote.

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