The window on an important promise by President Barack Obama may have just closed. From the Associated Press:
Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked legislation that would have repealed the law banning gays from serving openly in the military.
The partisan vote was a defeat for Senate Democrats and gay rights advocates, who saw the bill as their last chance before November’s elections to overturn the law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
With the 56-43 vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. It also would have authorized $726 billion in defense spending including a pay raise for troops.
Senate Democrats attached the repeal provision to the defense bill in the hopes that Republicans would hesitate to vote against legislation that included popular defense programs. But GOP legislators opposed the bill anyway, thwarting a key part of the Democrats’ legislative agenda.
Now, gay rights advocates say they worry they have lost a crucial