Maine Senators Play Key Role in Blocking Repeal of Law Banning Gays in Military 

Senate Republicans have blocked an effort to repeal the law banning gays from serving openly in the military. The partisan vote was a defeat for gay rights groups who saw theprovision in a defense authorization bill as their last chance anytime soon to overturn the law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation, which authorized $726 billion in defense spending including a pay raise for troops. Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins had been seen as the crucial60th vote because she supports overturning the military ban. ButCollins sided with her GOP colleagues in arguing that Republicansweren’t given sufficient leeway to offer amendments to the wide-ranging policy bill. (AP)