Sen.-elect Pat Toomey (PG's Nate Guidry photo) issued a statement today reiterating his support for a repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy on gays in the military and urging a quick vote.

"As I’ve said previously, my highest priority is to have the policy that best enables our armed services to do their job," Toomey said.  "Our civilian and professional military leadership have now spoken and said we should repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  I would support a free-standing measure to do so."

Sponsored by outgoing Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Bucks, the repeal passed the House on Wednesday and though support appears to be building in the Senate for the measure, backed by President Barack Obama and military brass, it's unclear if and when a vote can be staged in the dwindling days of this Congress.

Toomey's position -- which he has articulated before in a Post-Gazette op-ed on his opposition to Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination -- means that should this debate carry over into next year, the loss of Arlen Specter won't mean a lost vote for a Don't Ask repeal.

This is nothing new, but yet another sign of Toomey carving himself out a niche as a fiscal hard-liner (see earmark ban) and social moderate.

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