FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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WASHINGTON – The Senate Armed Services Committee today voted to repeal the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, bringing an end to years of LGBT discrimination in the military. The amendment setting the repeal into action was attached to the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1993, states that openly lesbian and gay individuals pose "an unacceptable threat to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability" and prevents gay and lesbian individuals from serving openly in the military.
The language of the amendment states that a full repeal will take place after the Pentagon completes a study of the effects of policy’s repeal in December. President Obama then must certify that the policy’s repeal will not affect or harm the military in any way regarding readiness, recruitment and a number of other areas.
The full House is expected to vote on a similar amendment to its version of the NDAA tomorrow.
The following can be attributed to Christopher Anders, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:
“For years, without being able to live openly, gay and lesbian service members have been fighting and dying for their country alongside straight soldiers. Our men and women in uniform deserve to be treated fairly, honestly and with dignity. We applaud the committee for including this provision and urge the House to pass its amendment as well. We cannot dare lose momentum now.”
To read the ACLU’s letter in support of the Lieberman Amendment, go to: www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/aclu-letter-support-lieberman-amendment-repeal-dont-ask-dont-tell