How Women Helped Defeat DADT

What Women Really Think
Dec. 20 2010 5:31 PM

How Women Helped Defeat DADT

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Dahlia and Amanda , you’re totally right that Republican excuses about morale and saving lives were just wispy smoke screens for something more sinister and irrational. Fortunately, despite facing stiff opposition from prominent Republican senators, all the lobbying, cajoling, and deal-making paid off in the end. Every single Democratic senator chose to stand on the right side of history and voted for repeal, along with eight of their GOP colleagues. What’s most striking about the Republican pols who reversed course and refused to toe their party’s paleolithic line is not the paltry number, but how overwhelmingly young and female they were.

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Of the four Republican women in the Senate, three voted for repeal. With the exception of Dem-friendly George Voinovich of Ohio, the GOP men were all in their early-to-mid 50s, relative infancy for the geriatric upper chamber of Congress. This high level of support for gay rights among the women and younger generation of legislators jibes with national surveys of attitudes toward homosexuality and should confirm, once and for all, that the military’s continued ban on gays was never about discipline, battle readiness, or unit cohesion. It was about ickiness.

Photograph of Sen. Susan Collins by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images.