Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson (D) announced today that he will support the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal because he doesn't believe "that most Nebraskans want to continue a policy that not only encourages but requires people to be deceptive and to lie," he said in a statement. "In a military which values honesty and integrity, this policy encourages deceit.”
Nelson becomes the crucial 15th vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee that critics of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy need to include the amendment in the annual defense spending bill. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-D), along with Sen. Carl Levin (D) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D), are the main proponents behind this compromise.
This comes after the White House backed the compromise on Monday. Nelson, along with several other senators, was waiting to hear from the White House before making a decision. He ultimately chose to support the repeal because “it removes politics from the process. It bases implementation of the repeal on the Pentagon’s review.”
In response, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-rights group, thanked Nelson for “being on the right side of history.”
The Senate Armed Services Committee will vote on the repeal this Thursday.