On December 15th, 2010, the Democratically-controlled House overwhelmingly passed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act (HR 2965) by a vote of 250-175—quickly followed by Senate passage on December 18th and the President’s signature into law on December 22nd:
Watch video highlights from last year’s debate–including sponsor Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA)’s floor speech:
Today, at 12:01 AM EDT, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ officially ended–finally closing the door on a fundamental unfairness. Leader Pelosi last night:
With the long-overdue end of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, our nation will finally close the door on a fundamental unfairness for gays and lesbians, and indeed affirm equality for all Americans. When the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate took action last year to end this wrongheaded policy, we reaffirmed the core American principle that anyone who wishes to serve, secure, and defend this country must be judged by their abilities and honored for their dedication and sacrifice.
For those gays and lesbians discharged unfairly, including those who seek re-accession, we must correct their paperwork so that it properly reflects their service. We must continue efforts to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, but in the meantime, I urge the Obama Administration to investigate opportunities to extend the same support and benefits to all our troops and their families. We cannot allow there to be two classes of service members in our military – those who receive benefits for their families and those who do not.
This landmark progress comes after the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense have all certified that repeal will not hurt military readiness or unit cohesion.
America is the land of the free and the home of the brave because of our men and women in uniform. And tomorrow, we honor their service by recommitting to the values that they fight for on the battlefield.
Leader Pelosi will be on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight talking about the historic end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’–check your local listings for exact station details in your area.
For more information, including the Repeal Day Memo and the quick reference guide, visit the Department of Defense guide at www.defense.gov/dadt_repeal.