Noting that over 25 nations have ended bans on gays in the military, former President Jimmy Carter has released a statement to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network calling on legislators to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly.
Said Carter: “It is my long-held belief that every human being deserves dignity and respect. I often heard that phrase during my years at the United States Naval Academy, I carried it out as Commander-in-Chief, and it continues to animate my human rights work around the globe today. The nation’s commitment to human rights requires that lawmakers revisit ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the current policy that prevents lesbians, gays and bisexual from serving openly in our armed forces…’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’’ is the only law in America today that regulates a group of citizens then prohibits them from identifying themselves and speaking up on their own behalf. Gay soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are unable to tell their Member of Congress or their commander that the policy is an abject failure and they are living proof because they will face discharge. Those who defend our liberties and freedoms deserve better.”
Download a PDF of Carter’s statement here.