President Barack Obama has said repeal
of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” has strengthened national security.
Obama signed the bill repealing the
18-year-old policy in December of 2010. The military set aside
nearly a year to implement repeal. On September 20, 2011 “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell” officially came to an end, allowing gay and
bisexual troops to serve openly for the first time.
The president called repeal a matter of
fairness in a statement released on Thursday.
“A year ago today, we upheld the
fundamental American values of fairness and equality by finally and
formally repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Gay and lesbian
Americans now no longer need to hide who they love in order to serve
the country they love. It is a testament to the professionalism of
our men and women in uniform that this change was implemented in an
orderly manner, preserving unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and
military effectiveness,” Obama said.
year after DADT repeal, Pentagon cites fewer than 10 anti-gay cases.)
“As Commander in Chief, I've seen
that our national security has been strengthened because we are no
longer denied the skills and talents of those patriotic Americans who
happen to be gay or lesbian. The ability of service members to be
open and honest about their families and the people they love honors
the integrity of the individuals who serve, strengthens the
institutions they serve, and is one of the many reasons why our
military remains the finest in the world.”