A key U.S. senator that those seeking “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal have been lobbying for support will vote in favor of a compromise amendment to end the law, according to his office.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) plans to vote in favor of the measure made public on Monday by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a spoksperson said.
“Nelson will support the Levin-Lieberman Amendment,” said Dan McLaughlin, a Nelson spokesperson.
The Senate Armed Services Committee — on which Nelson serves — is expected to consider repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during its markup later this week of the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization bill.
Nelson was among six senators that LGBT organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, have been lobbying through a grassroots campaign to vote in favor of repeal. The other five are Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and Jim Webb (D-Va.).
However, Brown said on Tuesday he would vote against the amendment as proposed by Lieberman, according to the Boston Globe.
“I am keeping an open mind, but I do not support moving ahead until I am able to finish my review, the Pentagon completes its study, and we can be assured that a new policy can be implemented without jeopardizing the mission of our military,” Brown reportedly said in a statement.
Ben Nelson has told the Blade he opposes “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal at this time, although it’s unclear whether his position has changed following the announcement of the compromise measure.
The compromise amendment made public on Monday would repeal the statute prohibiting open service in the U.S. military only after the Pentagon completes its study on the issue at the end of the year and President Obama and Pentagon leaders certify the repeal is consistent with military standards.
Additionally, the proposed amendment lacks non-discrimination language and would return authority on discharging LGBT service members to the Pentagon.
The Blade will have more information on this story as it develops.