Iowa’s congressional delegation split 3-2, along party lines, in tonight’s vote on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The U.S. House voted to repeal the policy and allow homosexuals to serve in the military without fear disclosure of their sexual orientation will lead to their dismissal.
Congressman Leonard Boswell, a Democrat from Des Moines, is the only military veteran among the five Iowans who serve in the U.S. House. Boswell issued a statement, saying “the character and strength of a soldier is reliant on their courage, loyalty, honor and ability to do their job – not their sexuality.”
Boswell and the two other Democrats from Iowa – Congressmen Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack – voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The two Iowa Republicans in congress voted to keep the 1993 policy in place. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, said allowing gays to serve openly in the military is “risky social engineering” that will “damage the cohesion” of units in the military. Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, said congress shouldn’t act on the issue until the Pentagon completes its formal review of the policy.