8 years ago66 views
Attempts to repeal the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the US military stumbled on Tuesday as the Senate voted against starting a debate on legislation regarding the subject.
Sixty votes were needed for debate to begin on a bill authorizing defence programs and repeal of the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."
Just 56 senators voted yes and 43 no. The chamber's Democratic leaders could try again later this year to pass the legislation.
The Clinton-era policy allows homosexuals to serve in secret but expels them if their sexual orientation becomes known. Repealing the ban was one of President Barack Obama's promises in his 2008 presidential campaign.
Obama's Democrats in Congress wanted to scrap the 1993 policy before November congressional elections in which Republicans are expected to make big gains. The House has already voted to repeal the ban.
Advocates of the change are expected to try again in the Senate, probably in the "lame-duck" session of Congress that is expected to follow the elections. The White House said it supported another attempt.