WASHINGTON – President Obama signed legislation that will result in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Following the signing ceremony, HRC President Joe Solmonese made the following statement:
“Today gay and lesbian patriots serving their country in silence, and thousands more who wish to serve the country they love, can breathe a sigh of relief that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is on its way out. Soon, all service members will be able to serve with the full honesty and integrity the uniform demands. No more careers will come to an end because of an unjust law. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has weakened our military readiness and is now on its way to the dustbin of history.”
“After 17 years of this failed and discriminatory law, a stain has been removed from our nation. This historic day would not be possible without the leadership of President Obama, Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen. In the U.S. House of Representatives, we are grateful to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Rep. Patrick Murphy for their dogged determination. And in the U.S. Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, Kirsten Gillibrand and Mark Udall will go down in history as champions of this national security measure. Through their leadership, they have made our nation more secure and restored honesty and integrity as core values of our military.”
“It’s now incumbent on the president and the Pentagon to act expeditiously so that the final nail can be put in the coffin of this unjust and discriminatory law.”
The final end to the discriminatory ban will happen only after a certification process followed by another 60 day period. The Human Rights Campaign continues to warn service members that even after the President signs the bill, they are at risk for discharge as the repeal of DADT is not effective immediately.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.