Senate Votes To End Discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

Senate Votes To End Discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" PolicySenate Votes To End Discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

December 18, 2010

Historic Vote Brings Repeal To President's Desk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON - The Senate today voted to pass legislation repealing the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, sending the historic bill to the president's desk for signature. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal Act of 2010 (H.R. 2965) was passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The American Civil Liberties Union lauded the vote and urged President Obama to swiftly sign the bill into law.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was passed into law in 1993 and, since 1994, more than 14,000 qualified and committed service members, both men and women, have been discharged under the policy simply on the basis of their sexual orientation. The momentum to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been building for nearly a year with President Obama calling for its repeal in his State of the Union address and the highest ranking members of the military calling for the policy to end.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

"For nearly two decades, gay and lesbian service members have been forced to hide who they are in order to serve their country. That will soon end. The significance of this vote should not be underestimated and should serve as confirmation that we should not and cannot codify discrimination into our laws.

"'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' had no place in a country where we value the equal treatment of all our citizens. We urge President Obama to swiftly sign this bill and ensure that our gay and lesbian service members can serve their country with honesty and dignity."

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