Gay rights advocates are increasing pressure on the Senate to repeal the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, before newly-elected Republicans take their seats in the Senate next year. Advocates held a series of Veterans Day rallies across the country today to honor gay and lesbian service members, and to protest the ban on openly gay service members.
At a small rally in Times Square, Justin Elzie, the first Marine to be discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," said he hopes the Senate will use the narrow time frame to make history. "If we are truly to call ourselves the bastion of freedom in Western Society, I think it's time that we finally recognized equality for LGBT service members who are fighting and dying for their country," he said.
Army veteran Tanya Domi said President Barack Obama needs to push the Senate to take action. "This president, if he does not come through and work with the Senate in a legitimate matter, then this will be on his head as we face 2012," she said.
It's up to the Senate to pass repeal legislation during their brief lame-duck session, which starts on Monday, and before the balance of power shifts in Congress next year. The House already passed the repeal earlier this year, as part of a broader defense bill.