Here is the official statement from the letter signed by Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno and Secretary of the Army John McHugh and sent to members of all branches of the military:
“Today marks the end of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ The law is repealed. From this day forward, gay and lesbian soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our rules, regulations and politics reflect the repeal guidance issued by the Department of Defense and will apply uniformly without regard to sexual orientation, which is a personal and private matter.
For over 236 years, the U.S. Army has been an extraordinary force for good in the world. Our soldiers are the most agile, adaptable and capable warriors in history—and we are ready for this change…
Accordingly, we expect all personnel to follow our values by implementing the repeal fully, fairly and in accordance with policy guidance. It is the duty of all personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect, while maintaining good order and discipline throughout our ranks. Doing so, will help the U.S. Army remain the strength of the nation.”
Today will be marked by private and public celebrations throughout the nation. The Advocate reports that a bipartisan group of congressmen including Sens. Carl Levin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Susan Collins, Mark Udall, and Joseph Lieberman, along with members of HRC, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the newly revealed LGBT military magazine Outserve. Later in the day, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will discuss the repeal at a press conference.
The activist group GetEQUAL has announced a number of public protests today, hoping to highlight other laws that continue to discriminate against LGBT Americans. “It has taken 17 years of hard work to remove this discriminatory policy and still our community faces discrimination and intolerance on a daily basis that this one important victory won’t fix,” says GetEQUAL’s director Robin McGehee.
Of course the repeal doesn’t mean there still aren’t unanswered questions and concerns. The fate of the some 13,000 servicemembers who were discharged while Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was enforced is still in the air. The fact also remains that though queer military men and women can now be open about their sexuality, they still can’t enjoy numerous benefits provided to their heterosexual married troop mates. And lets not forge that the trans community is still banned from serving in the military. But we should pause to celebrate our victories and thank both those who helped to enact the repeal and those who were forced to serve in silence.
“Our work is far from done, but today we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our patriots as we look forward to a new era of military service—one that honors the contributions of all qualified Americans who have served or who wish to serve.” said SLDN director Aubrey Sarvis. “Thanks to veterans, active duty, leaders, allies and supporters everywhere, this is a monumental day for our service members and our nation.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who was one of the few senators to vote against DADT in 1993, said in a statement, “All these years later, it is a relief to see the end of a bad law that has been with us for far too long.”
Amen to that, sister.
Image vis U.S. Army, Leader Nancy Pelosi
Yay America! Welcome to the late 20th century!
‘Bout fucking time.
Marriage Equality before Election Day and he will get my vote.
Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
Somewhere in Heaven Maj. General Baron Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von Steuben, Drillmaster, Chief of Staff and Inspector General of the Continental Army, author of “Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States” is smiling.
Such an awesome day. I’m glad this happened in my lifetime.
In their own words, here’s one of the big reasons the Obama Administration’s appeal and request for an “emergency stay” in Log Cabin Republicans v Gates was absolutely essential:
“26. Invalidation of the DADT statute implicates dozens of DoD and Service policies and regulations that cover such disparate issues as housing, benefits, re-accession, military equal opportunity, anti-harassment, standards of conduct, rights and obligations of the Chaplain corps, and others. Amending these regulations would typically take several months. To change all of the implicated policies and underlying regulations will require a massive undertaking by the Department and cannot be done overnight.”
Having had the “several months to change all the implicated policies,” what did they do?
Nothing. They didn’t have to. The Administration was operating in bad faith. They knew they were going to try to undo LCR v Gates either at the appellate level or in the legislature.
The loss suddenly motivated Obama to ramrod through Congress a law that denies equal access to housing and benefits, contains no equal opportunity or anti-discrimination policies, and created a legal bar against re-accession. And in a subsequent defense bill amendment, Congress guaranteed the “right” of the publicly funded Chaplain corps to preach against homosexuality. Hurrah.
All of this because Obama didn’t expect, and couldn’t abide, losing in court to a bunch of faggots.
But if you still wish to cheer this pyrrhic victory, do carry on.
America should have done this a lonnnnnnnng time ago or DADT should have never been created because we’re supposed to be free anyways and that means EVERY MAN, WOMAN and child. Gays should have the same rights as straights do especially since they go out there and bust their asses to support theirselves and their partners and any children if they have them! But this is a victory despite it’s long time coming a victory 🙂
Now gay people can go murder, rape and pillage for the US government, too!
Worst. Politics. Ever.
I Mean What
There is a fantastic article on Christwire.org called Is My Husband Gay? Clearly, this was written by a fag hag or Michele Bachmann. The slogan for Christwire is “Conservative Values for an Unsaved World”. Knowing that will help you digest the article that starts with: Right now in America there are over 2 million couples secretly struggling with homosexuality in their marriages. Are you one of them? http://bit.ly/pUEx7m
Christwire is a great website. My favorite article is “Christian Cowboys Keep the City Queers Away,” by Cody Wing. Cowboy for Christ
“So what I’m sayin’ is that if it happens once, in the middle of the winter, with none a the women around, then no one’s queer. Just don’t talk about it all the time like they do in Portland. Queers are disgustin’ little fruits, but a buddy can help another buddy out. I’m sure Jesus will understand.
“If yer over there in Portland or San Francisco, don’t get any ideas. You come out here lookin’ for a queer cowboy and you ain’t gonna find any of ’em. We take care of our own. Now git! There’s work to do, and men to do it with.”
eban argel labeija
we still get beat on in the states but now we can go beat on the rest of the wooooooooorld! GO USA!!!!
@antiassimilation: Go f*ck yourself. You don’t know the first thing about what the military does. And your sensationalism gets you no where. The military isn’t perfect and yes innocent people have died.. but calling us murderers and rapist.. that’s bullshit.
I’ve been in 5 1/2 years. I haven’t murdered anyone and I damn sure haven’t raped anyone.
@antiassimilation: I agree with you. This is one “right” that I don’t want.
@Gay Veteran: Oh, so you’ve only pillaged? What a saint you are.
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