The House just passed the DADT bill by a 250 – 175 margin. Fifteen Republicans voted yes while fifteen Democrats voted no. Nine (5Ds/4Rs) didn’t vote. Barney Frank announced the vote.
Roll call vote is here.
This shows real progress. On May 27th, the DADT amendment passed by a margin of 234 – 194. Back then, only five GOPers voted yes and 26 Democrats voted no with 10 not voting. We picked up ten additional GOP votes (UPDATE: New GOP votes are Bono Mack, Campbell, Castle, Dent, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Dreier, Ehlers, Flake, Platts and Reichert.)
Watching the debate, it was pretty obvious that no matter how they couched it, opposition to the repeal of DADT is based on pure homophobia. There’s nothing else.
The Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, made strong floor speeches on behalf of repeal. We heard from a number of repeal supporters. One of the best lines was from Rep. Al Green (D-TX) who said, “I will not ask people who are willing to die for my country to live a lie for my country.”
We did not hear from the GOP leaders, soon-to-be Speaker Boehner or soon-to-be Majority Leader Cantor. But, the GOP caucus was well-represented by haters. Hard to tell who is the worst, but Rep. Gohmert (R-TX) is certainly in the running for the House’s biggest homophobe. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) also seemed particularly obsessed with the gay issue. He even invoked the YMCA. Seriously.
Now, it’s back to the Senate. The pressure is on. The Majority Leader needs to get this bill to the Senate floor ASAP. Susan Collins and her GOP colleagues, Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski, Richard Lugar and now Olympia Snowe (see the post below) need to do more than say they support repeal, they need to actually VOTE for repeal.
And, the President needs to use his bully pulpit. By a huge majority, the American people are on his side. Ending DADT is NOT controversial.
We’ve got momentum. Now, get this done.