For Immediate Release
President Obama Calls for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy
WASHINGTON - During his State of the Union address Wednesday night, President Obama said he would work with Congress and the military this year to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The policy, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1993, states that openly lesbian and gay individuals pose "an unacceptable threat to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability" and prevents gay and lesbian individuals from serving openly in the military.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:
"In an historic first, the nation finally has a commander in chief who is calling for all men and women serving our country in uniform to be treated fairly and with dignity. It is gratifying to hear President Obama call for the repeal of the un-American and discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. For the better part of two decades, lesbian and gay Americans have been denied the right to live their lives openly as they serve in their country's military. This policy is unacceptable in a country where we value the equal treatment of all Americans. A soldier's sexual orientation should never outweigh his or her record and performance. Congress must now act swiftly to repeal this shameful policy."
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.