The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

November 18, 2010
Boxer, Feinstein push to repeal gay ban during lame-duck
California's two U.S. senators are helping lead the push for the lame-duck Congress to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays from serving openly in the military.
 
At a press conference today in Washington, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she believes the policy in unconstitutional. "The reason is simple: this policy treats the same class of people differently, and that, I think, deprives them of their right to equality under the law.
 
"Additionally, as has been said, this policy denies our nation good talent. That's just plain wrong," she added, citing four service members who were discharged.
 
Sen. Barbara Boxer also called for immediate repeal, saying it should be the latest step on the road to full equality. "We've got to move toward equality - or we lose the essence of our nation," she said.
 
"This is a no-brainer," Boxer added. "People are fighting for our country. They're heroes. They're stars. And for absolutely no reason they find themselves tossed out of the military. No reason, other than something that has nothing to do with their ability to protect this nation."
 
The timing is very tight to get the vote just after the Thanksgiving break. But the effort could be helped by a Pentagon report due by Dec. 1 on how lifting the policy would be implemented.
 
The politics is that it will be even tougher to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the new Congress, when there will be more Republicans.
 
The House passed a measure to get rid of "don't ask, don't tell" in May, but it stalled in the Senate in September.
 
Since then, a federal judge in California declared "don't ask, don't tell" unconstitutional. But her ruling is on hold during appeals.
 
The Bee's editorial board, while praising the judge's ruling, said it would be better if the nation's lawmakers ended the discriminatory policy.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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