Alaska's Murkowski will vote to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she'll vote to repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy that bars openly gay service members from the military. Democrats need her support and that of other Republicans to get the 60 votes they need to take up a defense re-authorization bill that will include the repeal.

"We expect all who serve to serve with integrity, but under current law gay and lesbian service members may speak about their sexual orientation only at the risk of being discharged from performing the duties they have trained hard to carry out," she said. "America is the loser when it denies those who are willing to make the great sacrifices demanded of our men and women in uniform the opportunity do so on grounds of sexual orientation."

However, Murkowski's support of the repeal is conditional. She won't vote for the bill unless Democrats grant Republicans the opportunity to submit and debate amendments.

"This is a weighty, policy-laden bill that normally takes several weeks to debate and amend," Murkowski said. "If the majority attempts to push it through allowing little or no debate or votes on amendments, I will be inclined to oppose those efforts."