The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jarrod Chlapowski: 252.721.8152 | Email:
Alex Nicholson: 202.531.4839 | Email:

President Signs DADT Repeal Bill, Largest Gay Troop/Vet Group Reacts


Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans,
released the following statement today regarding the signing of the
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal Act of 2010 by President Obama:

an historic wrong was finally made right. Today, the long and painful
struggle of one million LGBT veterans was finally vindicated. Today,
sixty-six thousand gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans currently
serving in uniform will sleep easier knowing that the odious 'Don't Ask,
Don't Tell' law is a thing of the past," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former multi-lingual Army interrogator who was discharged under DADT.
"While we now await certification and the transition regulations, we
call upon the senior defense leadership to hasten the implementation of
this policy change internally. The U.S. military will certainly be
better off as a result."

in 2005, Servicemembers United has been a critical player in the
movement to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Servicemembers
United grew to become the grassroots and organizing arm of the repeal
movement, organizing campaigns and events and doing extensive media
around the country, especially in conservative areas, to put a human
face on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Servicemembers United opened a
full-time office in Washington, DC in early 2009 to give those actually
impacted by the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law a seat at the political
table and a role in the negotiations over the issue's future.
Servicemembers United also led the charge to compel the Senate Majority
Leader to move the defense authorization bill, and later the
stand-alone repeal bill, before the end of 2010.

United's co-founder, Jarrod Chlapowski, organized and led the
grassroots efforts of the Human Rights Campaign during 2009 and 2010,
using Servicemembers United's members to lend legitimacy to the lobbying
effort on this defense policy issue. Servicemembers United's
Executive Director also served as the sole named veteran plaintiff on
the lawsuit by the Log Cabin Republicans that got the "Don't Ask, Don't
Tell" lawsuit declared unconstitutional.

For more information about Servicemembers United and "Don't Ask, Dont' Tell," please visit
For the most comprehensive collection of polling data, discharge
statistics, academic works, legislative and congressional material, and
more, visit