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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Nelson votes for, LeMieux against repealing 'don't ask, don't tell'

UPDATE: The U.S. House followed suit Thursday evening and voted 234-194 to repeal the law. Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami joined Democrats. All other Florida lawmakers followed the party line. Alcee Hastings and Ginny Brown-Waite did not vote.

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Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson joined other Democrats on the Armed Services Committee in voting for a repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Republican Sen. George LeMieux sided with his party. 

The Clinton-era policy allowed gays to serve as long as they did not disclose their sexual orientation.

Nelson said earlier this week that he supported a compromise that allowed a vote but gave the military time to study the effects of doing away with the policy. LeMieux has previously said that he supported the status quo, and that with ongoing wars, it's not a good time for change.

In a statement today, LeMieux said, “The vote today railroads this policy change through without giving the men and women of our military the respect of being heard. To preempt the military’s review and cut off the opportunity for service men and women to voice their opinion is an insult. This change is political, it is based on election year politics, and there is no reason why Congress couldn’t wait until the military completed their review.”

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:39am]

    

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