Experts React to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Vote

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Today the Palm Center released a statement following the failed Senate vote (56-43 against ending debate) that did not overcome a Republican-led filibuster on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2011. “Discharges and discrimination will continue because of today’s vote in the Senate. This was not just a vote on whether to end a filibuster. This was a vote on the Senate floor on whether to end discrimination against gays and lesbians in the U.S. military,” stated Christopher Neff, Deputy Executive Director of the Palm Center.

Discharges and discrimination will continue because of today’s vote in the Senate. This was not just a vote on whether to end a filibuster. This was a vote on the Senate floor on whether to end discrimination against gays and lesbians in the U.S. military

Today the Palm Center released a statement following the failed Senate vote (56-43 against ending debate) that did not overcome a Republican-led filibuster on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2011. “Discharges and discrimination will continue because of today’s vote in the Senate. This was not just a vote on whether to end a filibuster. This was a vote on the Senate floor on whether to end discrimination against gays and lesbians in the U.S. military,” stated Christopher Neff, Deputy Executive Director of the Palm Center.

The unsuccessful override of the filibuster now means that debate will not begin on the NDAA until after the November election. Neff added: “The focus will now turn to the White House and their decision on appealing the current ruling by Judge Phillips in the Federal District Court.”

Judge Phillips' ruling in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States declared the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law unconstitutional. The White House and Department of Justice have yet to make public any decision regarding whether to appeal the case. Judge Phillips has stated that she will issue an injunction stopping discharges under the law if the case is not appealed.

The Palm Center is a research institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara, committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial issues of the day. For the past decade, the Palm Center's research on sexual minorities in the military has been published in leading social scientific journals. The Palm Center seeks to be a resource for university-affiliated as well as independent scholars, students, journalists, opinion leaders, and members of the public. For more information see http://www.palmcenter.org

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Cathy Renna

Christopher Neff
Palm Center
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