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Over the weekend, the lame-duck U.S. Senate voted to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by a vote of 65 to 31, sending the bill to President Barack Obama, who has said he will sign the “historic” measure (via New York magazine’s Daily Intel). Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, both Colorado Democrats, voted in favor of ending the policy, which prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. “We don’t tolerate this kind of discrimination in the private sector and should not do so in our armed forces either,” Bennet says (via The Colorado Independent).
Eight Republicans crossed party lines to vote for the bill, but as Newsweek writes, while the repeal is a “victory for civil rights,” it is “only the start of what are likely to be difficult, even tortured, months or even years, as the military struggles to adapt to the new law.” While some Republicans continue to claim the repeal will cost lives, Slate’s XX Factor points to at least two ways in which it may save them. And the Los Angeles Times looks at the overturning of DADT within the context of a “landmark year for gay rights.”
Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd surveys openly gay politicos in response to former President Jimmy Carter’s recent comment that a gay president could be in the country’s “near future.” While Democratic Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts is skeptical, Jared Polis, a Democrat from Boulder, was recently encouraged that minds are opening after taking his boyfriend, Marlon Reis, to a White House Christmas party. Marlon is “very popular,” he says. “Some of his best friends are Republican spouses.”