Harkin: Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Makes Military and our Country Stronger, More Just Print
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Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 20 December 2010 13:08
WASHINGTON, D.C. ­- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement after the Senate voted 65-31 to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the 17-year old Defense Department law that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.  The repeal was passed by the House earlier this week and will now go to the President to be signed into law.  Harkin is a cosponsor of the repeal.

“Today America took a major step toward ensuring the civil rights of its citizens by voting to discard the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is discriminatory and outdated, and our action to repeal it was long overdue.  Today, the Senate made clear that lesbian and gay Americans are first-class citizens.  The repeal has strong support in the military, both among high ranking leadership and among our enlisted personnel.  By voting to get rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, we not only make our military stronger and less discriminatory, but we also advance the cause of freedom for our entire country.

“As Americans, gay and lesbian individuals deserve the same employment rights as everyone else, including the right to be open about their personal lives while serving their country.  It is costly and senseless to discharge capable, qualified soldiers, or to turn away new recruits, based on sexual orientation, especially with our military under such great strain.  I am pleased that our government will no longer discriminate against individuals willing to bravely serve this county.”

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