Washington, D.C. – The Center for American Progress Action Fund urges Congress to move forward this week to repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," the law that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the military. Congress should act now to repeal this discriminatory law. While our nation is engaged in two wars, we need the skills and talents of all who are willing to serve—regardless of their sexual orientation.
President Barack Obama’s leadership and remarks in his State of the Union address earlier this year prompted the Pentagon to launch a working group to review how best to implement repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." The Pentagon’s review will be completed in December 2010. Congress should act now to repeal the law so that open service can begin as soon as possible following delivery of the Pentagon’s report and the development of needed policies and regulations.
The repeal language Congress is currently considering explicitly acknowledges the Pentagon’s review by delaying implementation of repeal until after the president, secretary of defense, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that implementing repeal will not have a negative impact on military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, or recruiting. CAP Action provided the draft certification language, and we are very pleased to see it adopted as part of the amendment that will be considered this week.
We are especially grateful for the leadership of Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), as well as Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Patrick Murphy (D-PA), who are leading efforts in Congress to repeal this discriminatory law.
CAP Action Experts on "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" Lawrence Korb and Winnie Stachelberg are available for comment. To speak with them please contact Suzi Emmerling at 202-481-8224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.