Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.
(San Francisco, CA, September 20, 2011)—Today, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—the discriminatory nearly two-decade old policy that bars lesbian, gay, and bisexual people from serving openly in the military—is officially over.
In July 2011, President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen certified that the military was prepared for the implementation of repeal, starting a 60-day process.
Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:
“Today is not just the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ it is the beginning of a new era in which government policies that discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity are rightly seen as shameful and outmoded. We salute President Obama for his leadership in bringing this inexcusable discrimination to an end. We also honor the thousands of men and women who were harmed by this policy, including many who made great personal sacrifices in order to speak out against it. While more work lies ahead in the movement for full equality, today we should celebrate how far we’ve come.”
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.