High-level military testimony confirms end to gay ban comes with few hurdles to implementation
WASHINGTON - Speaking today before a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, senior uniformed and civilian military leaders made an ironclad case for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal adding further momentum to action in this Congress, said the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. Testifying on the Pentagon's Comprehensive Working Group report on implementation of DADT repeal, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, General Carter Ham and Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson all made clear that there are few hurdles to implementation of open service by gays and lesbians and that they were confident that the military would execute such a repeal without long-term consequences. HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:
"Senators said they wanted to hear from military leaders and now they have their answers. The highest ranks of the Pentagon made clear that repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' will allow every qualified man and woman to serve without sacrificing the high standards that have made our military great. The small handful of Senators blocking repeal no longer have any fig leaves behind which to hide.
"America's men and women in uniform are professionals who already serve with gays and lesbians and repeal will do nothing to change their dedication to protecting our nation. The working group found clearly that military effectiveness will not be compromised by removing this stain on our service members' integrity.
"After more than twenty studies from both the military and outside organizations, it is time for this debate to close. Further, a failure of Congress to act now will tie the hands of military leaders who have asked for the power to implement the changes that their research lays out. The time for repeal is now."
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.
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