US Joins Israel Today in Allowing Gay Soldiers to Serve Their Country

— President Barack Obama

Today, the discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is finally and formally repealed.  As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love.  As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service.

More after the jump.
I was proud to sign the Repeal Act into law last December because I knew that it would enhance our national security, increase our military readiness, and bring us closer to the principles of equality and fairness that define us as Americans.  Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.

For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America’s promise to all our citizens.  Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans.  Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals.

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  1. Publisher says

    Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) released the following statement on the end of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, which was officially repealed today.

    “The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a victory for the cause of equality and our national defense. For too long, this wrongheaded policy prevented brave Americans from serving in our military and defending our country just because of who they love. It undermined our national security by forcing gays and lesbians out of military service at a time when America needs the most talented and the bravest protecting us, regardless of their sexual orientation. It’s about time.

    “I thank my colleagues who had the courage to vote to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell last December and applaud President Obama, Secretary Gates, Secretary Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and all who have worked to bring this day to pass. America will be an even stronger and better country with the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

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