In the nearly 17 years that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) has been the discriminatory, counterproductive law of the land, opponents have never been as close to repealing the policy as they are today.
Both the House and Senate are expected to have decisive votes on repealing DADT this week, beginning the process of ending this harmful policy once and for all.
The Advocate reported late on Monday evening that the White House had given the "green light" to a plan that would allow a repeal to be included in this year's National Defense Authorization Act.
The ACLU, as well as other leading organizations pressing for legislative repeal of DADT this year, believes there is simply no reason why Congress should not act this year to repeal DADT with the understanding that open service would not be implemented until the completion later this year of the Pentagon study on the best ways to do that. Such a position is fully in keeping with President Obama's oft-repeated calls, including in this year's State of the Union address, in support of fully repealing DADT.
Additionally, it would be fundamentally unfair to continue to discharge otherwise qualified men and women under DADT after Congress acts to repeal it. The inclusion of a moratorium on further DADT-related discharges is a critical component of any repeal language.
Providing further motivation to DADT opponents was a very strong editorial — "Scuttle 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" — in Friday's New York Times. To echo the Times editorial, it is indeed a prime opportunity to finally end this repressive policy. Please continue to speak out and let your Members of Congress know that you expect them to be on the right side of history when the roll call begins.