The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mandy Simon, (202) 675-2312;

Senate Committee Approves 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Amendment


Senate Armed Services Committee today voted to repeal the controversial
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, bringing an end to years of LGBT
discrimination in the military. The amendment setting the repeal into
action was attached to the Senate version of the National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA) by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). The "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell" 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.

language of the amendment states that a full repeal will take place
after the Pentagon completes a study of the effects of policy's repeal
in December. President Obama then must certify that the policy's repeal
will not affect or harm the military in any way regarding readiness,
recruitment and a number of other areas.

The full House is expected to vote on a similar amendment to its version of the NDAA tomorrow.

The following can be attributed to Christopher Anders, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:

years, without being able to live openly, gay and lesbian service
members have been fighting and dying for their country alongside
straight soldiers. Our men and women in uniform deserve to be treated
fairly, honestly and with dignity. We applaud the committee for
including this provision and urge the House to pass its amendment as
well. We cannot dare lose momentum now."

To read the ACLU's letter in support of the Lieberman Amendment, go to:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666