U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, expressed support Friday for ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy that prevents gays from openly serving in the military, following two days of Capitol Hill hearings about its repeal.This is extremely important: Collins is open to supporting repeal if sufficient time is allowed for debate and amendments. Whether this happens is entirely up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. If we want repeal to happen, we need to make sure Reid allows time for debate: it will take a lot of pressure to make this happen, because he doesn't want the Lame-Duck session to run too long, but if we ensure there is time for debate and amendments, we can get Collins on board for repeal, and perhaps even Lugar, Murkowski, and Engisn, as well.
“Like our closest allies, the United States’ Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” Maine’s junior senator said in a statement.
“I am impressed at the study the Pentagon did; it’s very lengthy, it reflects tens of thousands of interviews and surveys that were received and it concludes that a solid majority of individuals serving today believe that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would not have a negative impact on combat readiness,” Collins said in an interview Friday, after the hearing concluded.
“That doesn’t surprise me because many of our allies already allow open service and they have not seen any lessening in combat effectiveness or military readiness,” she said.
“I have made it clear that if the ... bill (comes) to the floor with sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments, I would vote to proceed to the bill,” she said. (Emphasis added)
Please call Reid now and urge him to allow time for debate so that we can make repeal happen.
Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.): 202-224-3542
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine): 202-224-2523
Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.): 202-224-4843
Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.): 202-224-2353
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.): 202-224-4814
Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.): 202-224-6244
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): 202-224-6665
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine): 202-224-5344
Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio): 202-224-3353