DADT repeal: a historic moment, but not the end of the journey

Repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members takes effect today. The Task Force has long advocated for an end to the discriminatory policy. This includes lobbying Congress, advocating and protesting at the grassroots level, working in coalition with other military ban opponents and launching a Military Freedom Project in the late 1980s.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey says:

Today marks the end of an ugly era in American history. After nearly two decades, lesbian, gay and bisexual service members will finally be able to serve their country openly and honestly. Those who fight for freedom will now themselves be able to live more freely. We celebrate this historic moment, which could not come fast enough. Thousands of exemplary and courageous service members have lost their careers and livelihoods to this unjust policy, once again proving there are very personal and costly consequences of discrimination.

While we observe this tremendous, hard-fought victory for lesbian, gay and bisexual service members, we recognize the journey is not over. Transgender service members are still being forced to serve in silence. This is unacceptable. All qualified, patriotic Americans willing to risk their lives for this country should be able to do so free from discrimination. In addition, the military still lacks explicit nondiscrimination protections, equal benefits and an inclusive equal opportunity policy for LGBT people. We will continue to work toward the day when full inclusion is a reality in the military.

Looking to celebrate? Then you can join SLDN for its events in D.C. and across the country. You can also check out GetEQUAL’s “Day of Discontent” actions in the push for full equality.