President Obama continues to make history when it comes to civil rights. Earlier this morning with Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader harry Reid by his side Obama signed into law to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” a ban on openly gay men and women to serve and protect their country.
In front of a jubilant crowd chanting “yes we can, yes we can,” Obama came through on his promise to make this country a more perfect union.
The repeal “will strengthen our national security and uphold (America’s) ideals,” Obama said. “No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie.”
“I believe this is the right thing to do for our military,” he added. “It’s the right thing to do, period.”
This is a moment “more than two centuries in the making,” the president said. Over the course of U.S. history, “gay Americans fought just as hard (and) gave just as much to protect” the country as anyone else. “We are a nation that believes all men and women are created equal.”
Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay Democrat, called the bill’s passage “the biggest single thing” in terms of the progress of gay rights in the United States
Obama said that he has spoken to every one of the military service chiefs, and that they have all promised to enact the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “swiftly and efficiently.”
“We are not going to be dragging our feet to get this done,” he promised.
During the 17 years the policy was in place, more than 14,000 military members were discharged because of it.