ACLU Urges Swift Passage Of Both House And Senate Repeal Bills
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WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) introduced a bill today in the House to repeal the discriminatory policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Today’s bill reflects the language of an identical Senate bill introduced last week after the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” provision, failed to advance. Both bills mirror the repeal language that was contained in the NDAA.
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. President Obama called for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in his State of the Union address and the highest ranking members of the military have repeatedly called for the policy to end. Additionally, a report released last month by the Pentagon also found that a large majority of respondents to a survey of active-duty and reserve service members and their families say that ending the policy would not have an adverse effect on military operations.
The American Civil Liberties Union commended today’s introduction and strongly urged the House and Senate to pass both bills before the end of the legislative session.
The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
“We commend the introduction of this bill and urge both chambers of Congress to move quickly on repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ before the end of the year. Our men and women in uniform deserve the opportunity to serve their country with dignity, regardless of whether they are gay or straight.
“Congress has all the evidence and support it needs to move forward with a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ With overwhelming support from the president, the highest ranking members of the armed forces and the majority of active-duty and reserve service members, the time for a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal is now.”