the House this week will take up a bill that would overturn the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays, Democratic leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.
The move would put pressure on the Senate to delay its holiday adjournment plans and take up a standalone repeal bill sponsored last week by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Connecticut's independent senator, Joseph Lieberman. That bill's fate has been in doubt because of other pressing issues facing the Senate with only days to go before it planned to conclude its lame-duck session.
Repeal advocates see this week as their last best shot at overturning "don't ask, don't tell," which bars gay troops from acknowledging their sexual orientation. Next year, Republicans take back control of the House and additional Senate seats, severely undercutting the chances that any Democratic priority will advance come January.
"This discriminatory and harmful policy has weakened America's security by depriving us of the work of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops who have served their country honorably," Hoyer said in a statement. "And it has severely compromised our Armed Forces' core value of integrity."
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