Washington, DC — December 22, 2010 — President Barack Obama today excised the tenets of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" from the conduct of America’s armed forces will for the first time permit gays and lesbians to serve openly. Rescinding “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" has not assuaged all critics who charge implementation of the new standard may hamper combat readiness. To mitigate such concerns, military service chiefs have been charged to embark on implementing plans and protocol before finally permitting the lifting of the present “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader John L. Sampson said, “‘The government has an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected,’ President Truman told Americans when he began his successful fight to end racial discrimination in our armed forces.
“Until now, gay and lesbian Americans have fought for freedoms they were themselves denied. The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell brings a long-awaited end to one of the most troubling discriminatory practices in American history. It affirms the United States is a nation that defends those who defend it, and that those defending our liberties have the liberty to be who they are.
“Since its founding, our nation has engaged in a journey to create a more perfect union; this is another milestone in that journey and mankind's ceaseless efforts to create a world free of prejudice.
“I thank Senators Gillibrand, Schumer, Reid, as well as Speaker Pelosi, and the numerous advocates for their leadership, and applaud President Obama for taking up a fight that will be remembered as one of the greatest legislative achievements of our time.”