Service Chiefs and Secretaries tell Congress they stand ready to carry out repeal when orders come.
Washington - The highest-ranking leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines appeared before Congress this week and testified in support of the strategy to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that was laid out by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
Army Chief of Staff General George Casey Secretary of the Army John McHugh Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Conway all supported the implementation review announced earlier this month and now under way at the Pentagon.
Throughout this week, the service secretaries and service chiefs have been testifying before the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees regarding defense authorization requests for Fiscal Year 2011.
"The leaders of our military service branches told Congress that they back Adm. Mullen and Secretary Gates' roadmap for repeal and would absolutely be capable of carrying out orders abolishing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" when Congress and the president send those orders their way," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "The testimony given by the service chiefs this week only furthers the belief that whatever orders are handed to them by their superiors, our men and women in uniform will have no trouble carrying out those orders with honor and professionalism."
"Every shred of evidence shows that on the battlefield, sexual orientation doesn't matter. Our country's top military leaders and the overwhelming majority of the American public and active-duty service members all believe that the most important consideration isn't whether a patriotic American fighting for our freedom is gay or straight, but whether they have the ability to perform their mission. The time to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is now," continued Solmonese.
On Monday, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) announced that he will introduce a bill in the U.S. Senate to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Representative Patrick Murphy (D-PA) is the lead sponsor of similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last month, during which he called for ending the ban on openly lesbian and gay Americans from serving in the military, there has been a nearly unanimous and diverse group who have spoke out in support of doing away with the law. Some of those include:
Now is the time to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." To be part of the effort to ensure that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is repealed this year, please write your member of Congress.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) - the current law prohibiting lesbians and gays from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces - is the only law in the country that requires people to be dishonest about their personal lives or be fired, possibly even imprisoned. This discriminatory law hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk.
Below are facts regarding the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
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