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Senate Votes to End “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

By Charlotte Robinson, December 18, 2010
Finally with a 65-31 vote the senate put an end to the "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell" military policy. This is a huge victory in the
repeal of DADT. The bill now moves to the president's desk
for the final vote. If DADT is repealed it means that gays can
finally openly be accepted by the military & could acknowledge
their sexual orientation without the fear of being fired.
President Obama stated, "The Senate has taken an historic step
toward ending a policy that undermines our national security
while violating the very ideals that our brave men & women in
uniform risk their lives to defend." The repeal of DADT will not
go into effect immediately. There will be a 60-day waiting period
as the Pentagon implements new rules. Updates to Come…:)
In this exclusive audio byte Political Satirist Kate Clinton talks
about the repeal.

We’ll have more from Kate Clinton in "2010
The Gay Year Review" @ OUTTAKE VOICES™
Exclusive Audio Interview Montage on
Stu Maddux new film Gen Silent addressing

discrimination against LGBT Seniors


Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™


Joe Solmonese said...

Today, America lived up to its highest ideals of freedom and equality. Today, our federal government recognized that ALL men and women have the right to openly serve the country they believe in. That it doesn't matter who you are, or who you love – you are not a second-class citizen.

Think of the kids out there tonight, watching this on the news – kids who are bullied for being different, who live in fear daily that their parents will hate them if they find out the truth... Think of the relief, the empowerment, the sense of possibility they'll feel, knowing that the U.S. military has said: if you're lesbian or gay, you are worthy. Think of the people across the globe – some in countries where it is literally a life-or-death decision to come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender – who will hear this news and know we're one step closer toward a world where no one needs to live in fear because of who they are. And take a moment to truly comprehend the lives ruined over the last 17 years because of this discriminatory law. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, translators, doctors and more, whose military careers were ended, whose livelihoods were threatened, whose friendships were cut off, all because the forces of bigotry and fear held out for so long. They can never get those years back. But I hope they know that their sacrifice meant something. Their courage and integrity helped a nation understand what it means to serve. And that, more than anything else, helped bring about this historic change. Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins have been our steadfast champions in this fight.

Joe Solmonese, President of HRC

Congresswoman Baldwin said...

The Senate vote today finally marks the end of a sad chapter in American history. Since its inception, the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has been an un-American assault on our most fundamental tenet – that ‘all men are created equal.’ The policy discriminates against gays and lesbians who currently serve or wish to serve in the military, including those previously discharged who wish to rejoin.

The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy is a threat to our national security. Since 1994, more than 13,000 highly trained service members have been discharged as a result of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ In the last five years, while our country has been engaged in two wars, the military has discharged more than 800 mission-critical troops under this policy, including more than 50 Arabic linguists.

Integrity is a hallmark of military service. Yet, for 17 years, we have had a statutory policy that requires some in our military to conceal, deceive, and lie. This is an inexcusable affront to all who wear the uniform.

The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ is long overdue, but no less welcome.
I look forward to the expeditious implementation of all policies necessary to end discrimination against gays and lesbians who currently serve or wish to serve in the military. I will continue to work for full equality for LGBT Americans. In the United States of America, there is no place for irrational and insidious discrimination in any sector of society.

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis) Co-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus in Congress

Sergeant Bustos said...

As I heard the final vote count, relief swept over me and I felt like my eight years of service and sacrifice had finally been validated. Today's vote will not only strengthen our national security, it will also strengthen our nation's integrity.

Sergeant Anthony Bustos is a 25 year old native Texan who served eight years in the United States Army National Guard and completed two tours in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sergeant Bustos was officially discharged on December 9, 2010 under the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law. Sergeant Bustos worked with GLAAD prior to coming out on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer earlier this year.

Jarrett Barrios said...

To deny brave men and women the ability to serve their country openly and honestly is to reject the fundamental American principles of fairness and equality for all. Today’s vote, a reflection of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the repeal, moves us one step closer to ending a ban which undermines our national security and has resulted in the loss of critical and skilled service members.

Jarrett Barrios, President of GLAAD

Molly McKay said...

Ding dong, don’t ask, don’t tell is dead! No more witch hunts, no more serving in fear, finally the beginning of the end of LGBT legal discrimination draws near. This is a day to celebrate a long overdue victory – but it is also important to recognize that the journey to equality is just beginning. We appreciate the extra efforts of Congressional members to extend this simple gesture of kindness and dignity to the LGBT service members and their families just in time for Christmas and we are hopeful that they will continue the momentum to eliminate marriage discrimination so that their families can enjoy the same benefits and protections as all other military families.

Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA Media Director

Tyson Redhouse said...

Today, our leadership stood on the right side of history and 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is on its way out after 17 years. Since the policy's enactment our nation has witnessed the discharges of over 14,000 men and women who took the Oath to stand up and serve their country. We've seen the military let thousands of specially-skilled servicemembers go, and we've seen many more endure the incredible stress of serving in silence. Today, we are seeing a great measure of hope given to those who have been impacted by this unjust and unnecessary policy. Don't Ask, Don't Tell cost this nation more than it should, and we are finally on the verge of seeing that ended. We now proceed on the path to repeal, a process which will take us into the New Year, a year that promises the systematic dissolution of the DADT policy. While this process moves forward, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) service members must hold tight. Today's vote is an active start. As we watch the repeal unfold we can rest assured that the passage of each day will allow those silent serving to stand a little taller and breathe a little easier. The voice of the people has been heard! We've waited for this day for so long and we now take time to celebrate a major step toward equality!

Today's events bring up a lot of emotions for me, personally. I served under DADT for eight years as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Air Force and I understand the pressure of serving in silence. I remember having to keep layer upon layer of secrecy from almost everyone I knew. There were times I questioned myself because DADT essentially forced me to go against my core value of integrity; I sometimes wondered if I really belonged in the military. We servicemembers and veterans have endured so much for so long. To my fellow gay soldiers currently serving, and to their families, I want to say, 'Hang in there - the fight is almost done - keep your heads up. Hope is coming and I will be there to stand with you when this policy is gone.'

Tyson Redhouse, Marriage Equality USA Military/Veteran's Community Liaison

Barack Obama said...

The Senate voted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed. Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are. The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one. This victory belongs to you. Without your commitment, the promise I made as a candidate would have remained just that. Instead, you helped prove again that no one should underestimate this movement. Every phone call to a senator on the fence, every letter to the editor in a local paper, and every message in a congressional inbox makes it clear to those who would stand in the way of justice: We will not quit.

This victory also belongs to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and our many allies in Congress who refused to let politics get in the way of what was right. Like you, they never gave up, and I want them to know how grateful we are for that commitment….

As Commander in Chief, I fought to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because it weakens our national security and military readiness. It violates the fundamental American principles of equality and fairness. But this victory is also personal. I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation. But I know my story would not be possible without the sacrifice and struggle of those who came before me -- many I will never meet, and can never thank.

I know this repeal is a crucial step for civil rights, and that it strengthens our military and national security. I know it is the right thing to do.

But the rightness of our cause does not guarantee success, and today, celebration of this historic step forward is tempered by the defeat of another -- the DREAM Act. I am incredibly disappointed that a minority of senators refused to move forward on this important, commonsense reform that most Americans understand is the right thing for our country. On this issue, our work must continue.

Today, I'm proud that we took these fights on.

Anne Goldbauer said...

This is a monumental victory. It demonstrates that Americans have united on the much heated debate in public policy that essentially violated the constitutional rights of those desiring to serve in the military. Our men and women who serve our country deserve to do so with honor and integrity. They deserve respect and recognition for serving our nation. Canada, Netherlands, France and other European countries allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, but not all of these countries, necessarily, have policies in place addressing cultural diversity and sexual orientation. We need to be proactive and take measures to address antagonistic behavior from those who remain in opposition. Gays and lesbians can only be successfully integrated within the military if measures are taken to address sexual orientation, cultural diversity and tolerance; it is crucial to have a policy on Zero tolerance and to keep proactive efforts in the forefront during this transitional period. It is important to include reportable incidences within policies and procedures pertaining to gays and lesbians; these must include measurable indicators and kept under close scrutiny of those who perform oversight in risk management.

Bob O'Neil said...

One more step up the ladder to full equality for LGBT people. We still need to repeal DOMA and pass ENDA, which will be virtually impossible with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives. The next 2 years will not be easy, but it looks like there are several more states (including my own Rhode Island) with a good chance of achieving marriage equality soon.

Maryann Gorski said...

Discrimination against LGBT people in the military didn't start 17 years ago. DADT was intended to be an improvement, not the bloodbath it turned out to be. Soldiers were discharged or disciplined for gay behavior or even "tendencies" since the birth of the nation. The 1940's seem particularly depressing. The environment for gays and lesbians was so nasty that even conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater wrote eloquently on changing things for the better. Yes, DADT was especially harmful, but Clinton didn't start discrimination by the military. It's been there the whole time.

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