On September 21, Republican members of the Senate blocked a bill that would have repealed the 17-year-old 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. Repealing the measure would allow gay and lesbian service members to serve openly. Senate leaders again pushed for the repeal and succeeded during the lame duck session on December 18. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates defended the repeal, claiming surveys showed removing the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy would have little impact on the military institution. Sen. John McCain is leading the charge of continuing the policy.
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