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Senate Leader Promises Vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” after Thanksgiving break

From MSNBC News Service:

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will call for a vote after Thanksgiving on legislation that would allow gays to serve openly in the military. His announcement makes good on his pre-election promise to resurrect during the lame-duck session legislation that would repeal the 1993 law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

But it remains far from certain whether the legislation would have enough votes to pass. Several leading Republicans, including Sen. John McCain, have said they oppose lifting the ban.

“We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so,” Reid said in a statement.

Reid’s message came as President Barack Obama and senior White House officials urged top lawmakers Wednesday to pass a repeal measure this year.

Pentagon report due on December 1st

A wild card in the upcoming debate will be a Pentagon study on gays in the military that is likely to be released just days before the Senate vote. Last February, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he supports an eventual repeal of the law but wanted time to figure out how it should be done. He ordered a 10-month study due Dec. 1.

A draft of the 370-page assessment has found that the ban could be lifted with little harm and that most troops don’t object to the change in personnel policy, according to officials familiar with its findings. But it also found that some troops had serious concerns with repealing the law. Read the complete MSNBC story here.

Public Support for overturning ban at all-time high

Opinion polls reflect the attitudes found in the Pentagon report, showing more that 70% support repealing the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces. The most recent survey is the CNN/Opinion Research Poll – November 11-14 released on November 17, 2010 that shows 72% of those surveyed support repeal of the ban.

The momemtum for change is growing and it will be interesting to see if the GOP will actually hold firm against defense funding in order to keed this arcaic ban in place, and if Reid has the spine to stand firm long enough to make that happen.