Task Force: 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy must end

March 25, 2010

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

WASHINGTON, March 25 — Defense Secretary Robert Gates today announced changes aimed at easing enforcement of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy, which bans openly lesbian, gay and bisexual people from serving openly in the military. Gates said the military will no longer open investigations into the sexual orientation of service members based on anonymous complaints, will restrict testimony from third parties and will require high-ranking officers to review all cases.

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

"While this announcement today by Secretary Gates is welcomed, it still falls painfully short of the real, substantive action that is needed to put an end to the immoral and unnecessary 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy once and for all.

"Just last week, more former military personnel stepped forth to testify before Congress about the damage caused by this unjust and archaic policy. We asked then, and ask again now: How many more of these stories must Congress hear before it takes action to end this discrimination against courageous and qualified people who are willing and proud to serve their country? Why haven't our political leaders exercised real leadership by placing an immediate halt to all discharges of service members because of their sexual orientation until Congress finally fulfills its responsibility to repeal this law? The time is now to end 'Don't, Ask, Don't Tell.'"

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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.