"Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary's recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed," Brown said in a statement.
"I have been in the military for 31 years and counting," he said. "When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor."
Because Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has vowed to block the National Defense Authorization Act if it includes repeal, the bill will need 60 votes to pass -- including at least a few Republicans. In September, the bill was blocked because Republicans -- including those who would likely support repeal, such as Sen. Susan Collins (ME) -- objected to the Democrats' decision not to allow any amendments on the massive spending bill.