Dec 1, 2010
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) hailed the findings of a comprehensive, nine-month study prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense on servicemembers’ attitudes toward the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay, lesbian or bisexual persons from serving in the military, and again urged the Senate to move quickly to repeal the law.

“From the initiation of this profoundly discriminatory and harmful policy in 1993, I have resolutely argued that our nation’s armed forces should not bar service by otherwise qualified citizens simply on the basis of their open affirmation of their sexual orientation. In the seventeen years since, it has become even more apparent that the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has harmed America’s military readiness and deprived our armed forces of the skills and talents of tens of thousands of qualified servicemembers. This exhaustive Defense Department study of servicemembers’ attitudes – which shows that seven in ten think that repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ would have either positive, negligible, or zero consequences – is the ultimate proof of the lack of justification for this backward, misguided policy. I urge the members of the United States Senate to get on the right side of history and move swiftly for its repeal.

“It is high time that America join our most respected and trusted allies in welcoming the military service of qualified individuals to serve in its armed forces regardless of their disclosure of their sexual orientation. Quite simply, the time for political gamesmanship is over, and the Senate must act.

“Two decades ago, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney described the rationale behind prohibiting openly gay, lesbian or bisexual persons from serving in the military as ‘a bit of an old chestnut.’ Now is the time for the Senate to consign that old chestnut to the ashbin of history by moving quickly in a bipartisan manner to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ once and for all.”