Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Obama Signs Bill Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’; Encourages Gays Discharged Under Ban to Re-Join

At long last! (Photo: Chuck Kennedy)

Thanking “all the patriots … who were forced to hang up their uniforms” because of a discriminatory ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the US armed forces, President Obama today signed an historic bill repealing the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy that has been unjustly affecting tens of thousands of military personnel and excluding countless other Americans who wanted to serve for nearly two decades now.

“Gay and lesbian servicemembers — brave Americans who enable our freedoms — will no longer have to hide who they are,” Obama said in an e-mail to supporters after the Senate voted to lift the ban. “The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one.”

The President promised a swift implementation of the change and said people would one day look back and wonder why “it was such a controversy in the first place.” He also encouraged those service members who had been discharged under the ban to re-join.

“Your country needs you, your country wants you, we will be honored to welcome you into the ranks,” Obama said.

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