Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown does not support the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Scott Brown will vote against repealing 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' when it comes up for a vote Thursday in the Senate Armed Services Committee, dealing a blow to gay rights advocates who were hoping the freshman Republican would support efforts to permit gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, The Globe's Political Intelligence blog has learned.
Brown's highly anticipated decision comes after President Obama and Democratic leaders struck a deal Monday night to overcome Pentagon resistance to changing the law before a top level review of how to implement a new policy is completed by Dec. 1.
The deal, outlined in a letter to Congress from the White House Office of Management and Budget, stipulates that any congressional repeal would not go into effect until the Pentagon review is completed.
But Brown says that while he is keeping "an open mind" on future efforts, he believes any vote for repeal should be put off until the Pentagon has time to formulate a plan for implementing any new policy.
But it appears to buck the vast majority of Massachusetts voters, according to a poll released today. The poll of 500 registered voters, conducted by Brown's pollster, Neil Newhouse, for the Human Rights Campaign, found that 77 percent of Bay State voters supports repeal. Meanwhile, it found that 62 percent of voters who backed Brown in the January special election support overturning the current law, as do 67 percent of registered independents who voted for him.
Criticism from some gay rights groups was swift and unsparing. "The notion that the senator from Massachusetts -- the first state in the nation to have marriage equality and one of the first states to have an anti-discrimination law -- would oppose ending discrimination against gays military personnel is reprehensible," said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.
She said she was particularly surprised at Brown's explanation because the proposals for repeal in Congress stipulate that the Pentagon review would have to be completed before a new policy would take effect.
"What possible excuse could he have other than brazen prejudice?" Isaacson declared.
The Commander in Chief, the Republican Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and and former Secretary of State General Colin Powell all support the repeal of this policy that is detrimental to our Armed Services.
But most important, Brown's constituents, by a wide majority, want DADT repealed.
Who is Brown representing? The GOP or the people of Massachusetts who voted for him?
It appears that this is the word that is out from the "Just Say NO!" GOP: "Block that legislation! Don't undo DADT. We don't want any more legislative victories for Obama. It's more important to screw the country and our gay military men and women than to cooperate with the Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist!"
David Boaz of the Cato Institute
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