Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

(San Francisco, CA, December 9, 2010)—Today, the U.S. Senate voted against a motion to begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains a provision to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 17-year-old federal policy that bars lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military.

A statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“It’s shameful and appalling that a small clique of U.S. Senators was able to block efforts to end government sanctioned discrimination even as an overwhelming majority of Americans—including the very service members who would serve side-by-side with lesbian and gay soldiers—support ending this embarrassing and counter-productive chapter in our history.

I am sickened by the message this sends to thousands of lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members and their families. This is a sad day in our nation’s history. We call on President Obama to immediately end the disgraceful discharges of hardworking soldiers and refuse to further defend Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in court.

We also must hold elected officials responsible for their actions. Today’s vote should be a wake-up call to every person who is committed to justice and fairness that we must do much more to elect public officials who support the most foundational principles of our nation.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.