BOSTON A top gay Republican organization is honoring Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Maine Sen. Susan Collins for their help repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military.
The Log Cabin Republicans said Brown and Collins were critical to eliminating the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, under which gays could serve as long as they didn’t openly acknowledge their sexual orientation.
“Sen. Brown’s vote … was critical in ensuring that there were enough votes to get this to the president’s desk,” said Christian Berle, the group’s legislative director.
Repeal of the 18-year-old legal ban took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
The Massachusetts Republican, facing re-election next year, said he backed the repeal after first reviewing a Pentagon report and talking to top military officials including then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Massachusetts Democrats have cast Brown as a foe of gay rights, noting that he opposes gay marriage and voted against the repeal of the gay military ban before voting for it.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom