Lady Gaga Heads to Maine to Rally Against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Lady Gaga arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Lady Gaga attended the Sept., 12, 2010 MTV Video Music Awards accompanied by four servicemen and women who were discharged from the armed services for being openly gay or bisexual.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Lady Gaga will headline a rally in Portland, Maine this afternoon to call for Congressional support of legislation that would repeal the anti-gay military policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the singer announced via Twitter on Sunday night.

The rally, which is being organized by gay rights group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), will call on Maine's two moderate Republican Senators - Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins - to vote yes on a defense bill that would include a repeal of the 17-year-old law banning gay and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill Tuesday afternoon, and supporters of repeal say they currently lack the necessary 60 votes to pass the legislation.

Collins and Snowe, both of whom are publicly undecided on the issue, are considered key swing votes on the matter. Collins previously voted to authorize repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell when the matter came before the Senate Armed Services Committee this summer.

"All New England senators, indeed all 100 senators, Democrats and Republicans, need to engage in a real debate on this issue, and not just posture and spin this week over procedure and Senate rules," said SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis to the Washington Post. "We need Sens. Snowe and Collins on board; they're key to us breaking the filibuster." 

Gaga, an outspoken gay activist and the most followed person on Twitter, released a video message to fans last Thursday urging Congress - in particular Senate Republicans John McCain, Mitch McConnell and James Inhofe - to vote in favor of repeal.

She has also used the medium repeatedly to urge her six million-plus followers to call their senators and make protest videos in support of the legislation. On September 16, she publicly condemned McCain for attempting to use a filibuster to stop the vote, calling the strategy "essentially a tactic to hijack our debate."


Lady Gaga Leads "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Rally in Maine

Update: More than 2,000 people attended the rally Monday afternoon at Portland's Deering Oaks Park, where Lady Gaga railed against the 1993 military policy prohibiting service members from revealing if they're gay. Here's the video of Lady Gaga's speech at the rally: