(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement today after the Pentagon officially reversed the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which has prevented gay servicemembers from serving openly in the U.S. military for the last eighteen years:
“I applaud President Obama, Secretary Panetta, Admiral Mullen, and all of the tireless advocates who worked so diligently to make the repeal of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy a reality. Today marks an historic moment not only for our military, but for equality in America, as thousands of servicemembers will finally be able to serve the country they love openly and honestly. Repeal of this devastating policy is a welcome decision both for those currently serving, and for the many qualified individuals who have long been denied the opportunity to do so – as well as for those who have avoided enlisting knowing how much more difficult their service would be under DADT. The United States military is the strongest, best-trained fighting force in the world – and our national security and military readiness are only enhanced by ensuring that all individuals willing to serve our country, regardless of who they are and whom they love, are able to do so.”
The Senate voted to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in December 2010, with 65 Senators, including six Republicans, voting in favor of the measure. The Pentagon officially instated the repeal with a memo from top Pentagon officials at midnight on September 20.