Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News

Obama Releases Statement Marking End of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'


President Obama has released a statement today regarding the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

It follows:

Today, the discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is finally and formally repealed.  As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love.  As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service. 

I was proud to sign the Repeal Act into law last December because I knew that it would enhance our national security, increase our military readiness, and bring us closer to the principles of equality and fairness that define us as Americans.  Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them. 

For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America’s promise to all our citizens.  Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans.  Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals.

Obama for America also released a video featuring veterans talking about the end of the military gay ban and what it means.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Finally. Should have been done yrs ago.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Sep 20, 2011 9:33:45 AM

  2. I am very glad that DADT has been repealed and the repeal certified.

    But I found it very annoying that the video created to mark this historic day was a campaign piece for Obama 2012.

    Tacky, Mr. President. Very, very tacky.

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Sep 20, 2011 9:55:14 AM

  3. Okay take note anti-Obama folks: this kind of moment will NEVER happen under a republican president. You might not like some of the man's policies but Obama is a better hope for equality than you'll get by voting for anyone from the GOP.

    Posted by: sparks | Sep 20, 2011 10:18:30 AM

  4. It has always been an unconstitutional law as the courts have said and those discharged under it need to sue the Dept, of Defence (Eng Sp),,,for damages, compensation, reinstatement and loss of promotion.
    Let the US govt now own up to its own iniquity and try to repair the devastation of lives that the Govt has wrought.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 20, 2011 10:22:40 AM

  5. Much of this commentry is too complimentry of America.........
    It is hardly a major achievement that the USA has caught up with the practices of every other army/military in Europe.
    And even less worthy of praise that such a policy of bigotry should have been tolerated for so long.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 20, 2011 10:26:37 AM

  6. Jeffrey,

    It may be tacky but this is politics. And since there has been such a dog pile on him about campaign promises unfulfilled, I honestly can't blame him for going down this road.

    Posted by: David | Sep 20, 2011 10:31:50 AM

  7. TACKY. And this wasn't even his idea. This was Gaga's. Why would you want to take credit of something from someone who wears a meat dress? Oh right. Obama doesn't have a brain either.

    Posted by: SJoe | Sep 20, 2011 10:40:18 AM

  8. The messenger isn't the point, the message is. Discrimination is wrong. God bless all our men and women who serve, straight and gay.

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 20, 2011 10:44:13 AM

  9. At least Obama still isn't as low class and tacky as you SJOE and Jeffery

    Posted by: ELI | Sep 20, 2011 10:53:19 AM

  10. Discrimination is not always wrong. Some use of discrimination is used to protect America. In this case DADT was used to protect gays.

    Posted by: SJoe | Sep 20, 2011 10:55:14 AM

  11. ...another reason for the terrorists to hate america...

    Posted by: Ron | Sep 20, 2011 10:59:39 AM

  12. Make no mistake about it: despite all his weaknesses, Obama delivered on this promise. Maybe not as quickly as you may have liked, but he did it, along with invaluable support from SLDN, Lieberman, Gillibrand, Rep. Murphy, et al. And it wasn't easy. McCain and Graham came VERY close to killing this. Once the Reps took over the House and with their increased Senate seats and indebtedness to the Tea Party, come Jan 2011, this would have been dead for another 5 or 10 years. The Republican leadership would NEVER have acted on the movement to repeal. Remember that when it's time to vote in 2012.

    Posted by: David | Sep 20, 2011 11:02:15 AM

  13. Somewhere in Heaven Maj. General Baron Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von Steuben, Drillmaster, Chief of Staff and Inspector General of the Continental Army, author of "Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States" is smiling.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Sep 20, 2011 11:10:53 AM

  14. um....@ron.. the terrorists hate you for other reasons not because you have gays in the military. @sjoe.. discrimination is ALWAYS wrong. make no mistake about that. you wouldn't need to "protect America" like you do if you all thought differently. reap what you sow

    Posted by: NorthoftheBorder | Sep 20, 2011 11:44:04 AM

  15. I am a linguist who was discharged under DADT. Amen that this is over. Air Force Reserves, here I come.

    Posted by: Erich | Sep 20, 2011 12:10:25 PM

  16. @ron, if by "...terrorists to hate America" you mean Republicans, then you may be right. The Republicans are terrorists and they do hate America.

    @sjoe: Discrimination in taste may not always be wrong, although I'm sure it's always debatable. However, I fail to see how DADT protected gays when it was actually used against us. Would you care to explain that comment? I'd be interested in your reasoning.

    I for one am glad this ridiculous and un-Constitutional law is gone and hope it stays gone. I left the military and a job that I was excellent at and really loved because I could no longer risk hiding and denying my sexuality. If I wanted a life of abstinence I could have entered the priesthood. To have any kind of sexual relationship or to be even seen in or around a gay venue(bar, club, bath, etc) risked discharge. So, I reluctantly returned to civilian life.

    I have always resented being denied my chosen career by a bigoted and ignorant society. And even though I did well in civilian life, I was never truly happy outside the military. It is a dream career I wanted from early childhood and was denied for no good reason, other than hate, ignorance and intolerance. Well, I'm glad it's done so other gay men who love the military lifestyle no longer have to make the unhappy choice I did.

    Posted by: Bob R | Sep 20, 2011 12:32:06 PM

  17. Sparks, you fool, it's the Obama administration that not only refused to outlaw discrimination against currently openly gay military people -- yes, even now -- but it's Obama who only did this because we forced him to. His plan was to make sure it never happened by waiting until 2011 -- maybe -- to start it. And it's his damn "justice" department that is right this second fighting to make sure that DADT is not declared unconstitutional in the courts.

    Really, I have to ask just how stupid one has to be anymore in order to support Barry Obama?

    Posted by: ohplease | Sep 20, 2011 12:35:50 PM

  18. A very well done video, regardless of who made it. To the critics of Obama posting here, I can't wait to read your shrill commentaries after President Romney takes over. Our President supported and worked for this repeal since the day he took office. Get over your bitchy selves and celebrate this giant step towards full equality. Your whining appears petty compared to what the service members in the video have endured. This never would have happened under a Republican president nor would it have happened if Democrats weren't in the majority in the House when it all began.

    Posted by: Boone | Sep 20, 2011 12:54:09 PM

  19. @ OhPlease,

    Your the fool. To pass repeal in the Senate, the votes of "moderate Republicans" senators were needed. Those swing-vote senators said, in their own words, that they would vote for repeal only if the Pentagon brass testified in Congress that they were OK with repeal. The Pentagon brass *repeatedly* stated that they would only be on board if equal-opportunity/anti-discrimination language was deleted from the bill. Maybe the Pentagon brass will agree to anti-discrimination language in the future, but they sure weren't willing to do that last year, when the repeal bill was being debated.

    I'm sure you can use elementary logic, OhPlease. If the bill contained anti-discrimination language, the Pentagon was not willing to testify that they were on board. If the Pentagon was not on board, the swing-vote Republican senators would have voted no, thus dooming repeal. Yet you insist on blaming Obama for this. What do you use for brains? Think it through again. By the way, your desire for Obama's Republican opponent to win in 2012 shows how self loathing you are. Yes, OhPlease, you're a self-loathing queer who would love to see an anti-gay result in the 2012 general elections. Why do you continue to embarrass yourself by acting as a Romney/Perry cheerleader? Can you find something less self-hating to do? Soon? Please? Oh, please?

    Posted by: Artie | Sep 20, 2011 12:56:06 PM

  20. Even the White House Thanksgiving Turkey got a photo op with the President but all we get on this critically flawed but still HISTORY CHANGING DAY for all of America not just its gay and lesbian service members and their families is an e-blasted "statement" scribbled by some anonymous flunkie?

    Posted by: Michael | Sep 20, 2011 1:33:13 PM

  21. @ OhPlease,

    In the interest of being complete, I will include a rephrasing of your past logic (using all caps, of course):


    In answer to this hysterical statement, I would point you to the logic I outlined above. The Pentagon brass wasn't willing to go along with non-discrimination language. The swing-vote senators were only willing to vote "yes" if the Pentagon brass testified that they were on board with repeal. I don't think we have to satisfy the conditions in your hysterical statement above in order to understand basic logic: If A doesn't happen, B won't happen. If B doesn't happen, C won't happen. Duh. Now tell me that Obama's ability to change the minds of the generals wasn't as complete as you think it should be. Read a little bit about Harry Truman's inability to strong-arm the Pentagon brass as quickly as civil rights activists wanted concerning racial integration.

    Another thought occurred to me, OhPlease. Could I confusing you with another commenter? If so, accept my apologies. Wait a minute. Someone just told me that Hillary Clinton is playing around with a Ouija Board right now. She's channeling the ghost of Joan Crawford.

    Posted by: Artie | Sep 20, 2011 1:48:01 PM

  22. @ERICH, Congrats and good luck!

    Posted by: IAN F | Sep 20, 2011 2:41:00 PM

  23. Yes, OhPlease, please tell us who will get your support in 2012. We're dying to know.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Sep 20, 2011 3:16:27 PM

  24. "And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service."

    Thanks is nice, but I'd like to see some progress on addressing the discriminatory treatment even honorably discharged service members are still experiencing.

    I also dream of some sort of restitution, but this being America, I realize that's a pipe dream.

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 20, 2011 6:21:36 PM

  25. No complaints. Let's be happy this happened because this gives the chance for people who are willing to give their lives for US, whether we agree with what our country does, to do so with respect and dignity.

    Posted by: newcityspot | Sep 20, 2011 8:00:53 PM

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