Task Force responds to President Obama's State of the Union remarks? on repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy

January 27, 2010

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"President Obama tonight vowed this year to work with Congress and the military to finally repeal the reprehensible ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. While we know the State of the Union speech aims to present broad visions, the next time President Obama speaks to or about our community, he must provide a concrete blueprint for his leadership and action moving forward — this includes his willingness to stop the discharges happening on his watch until Congress can fulfill its responsibility to overturn the law. The time for broad statements is over. The time to get down to business is overdue. We wish we had heard him speak of concrete steps tonight.

"'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is unnecessary, unfair and immoral. It undermines military readiness and discriminates against brave and patriotic men and women eager and willing to serve their country. We once again call upon the president and Congress to act quickly and decisively to finally repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It's long past time to place fairness above foot-dragging.

"Until that happens, the state of the union for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans will largely remain one of inequality and discrimination. Indeed, it is a disgrace that patriotic service members are still being discharged under the president's watch, LGBT employees nationwide are still being fired for nothing other than bias, and marriage inequality relegates our families to second-class status. If the president is truly serious about job creation and boosting the economic well-being of Americans, he must provide leadership and action in ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and eliminating the potent economic disparities imposed by the unjust federal marriage ban. Our country can and must do better. We urge the president to pave the way."

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.