House Introduces “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Legislation

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

House Introduces “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Legislation

ACLU Urges Swift Passage Of Both House And Senate Repeal Bills

WASHINGTON - House
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA)
introduced a bill today in the House to repeal the discriminatory policy
of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Today’s bill reflects the language of an
identical Senate bill introduced last week after the National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
provision, failed to advance. Both bills mirror the repeal language that
was contained in the NDAA.

Since 1994, more than 14,000 qualified and committed service members,
both men and women, have been discharged under the policy simply on the
basis of their sexual orientation. President Obama called for repeal of
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in his State of the Union address and the
highest ranking members of the military have repeatedly called for the
policy to end. Additionally, a report released last month by the
Pentagon also found that a large majority of respondents to a survey of
active-duty and reserve service members and their families say that
ending the policy would not have an adverse effect on military
operations. 

The American Civil Liberties Union commended today’s introduction and
strongly urged the House and Senate to pass both bills before the end of
the legislative session.

The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“We commend the introduction of this bill and urge both chambers of
Congress to move quickly on repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ before the
end of the year. Our men and women in uniform deserve the opportunity
to serve their country with dignity, regardless of whether they are gay
or straight.

“Congress has all the evidence and support it needs to move forward
with a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ With overwhelming support from
the president, the highest ranking members of the armed forces and the
majority of active-duty and reserve service members, the time for a
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal is now.”

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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