Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is history. Today, September 20, 2011, marks the official end of the law that prohibited gay, lesbian and bisexual people from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. President Obama signed the law repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” last December.
More than 13,000 gay and lesbian military personnel have been expelled from the armed services for coming out about their sexual orientation since the law took effect in 1993 under then-President Bill Clinton.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network released this statement, applauding the end of the discriminatory law:
“Today marks the official end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and is an historic milestone along the journey to achieving LGBT equality in America’s military. Thanks to veterans, active duty, leaders, allies and supporters everywhere, this is a monumental day for our service members and our nation. Indeed, we have taken a tremendous leap forward for LGBT equality in the military.
“Our work is far from done, but today we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our patriots as we look forward to a new era of military service – one that honors the contributions of all qualified Americans who have served or who wish to serve.”
SLDN reports that one hundred events are taking place in all 50 states as repeal supporters celebrate the end of this law. Here is information about the event taking place in New York City:
New York City
September 20, 2011: 7 until 9 p.m.
Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014
Speaker Christine C. Quinn (D – District 3 – New York City Council)
Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton, West Point ’80, Executive Director of Knights Out
Katherine Miller, OutServe Board of Directors, former West Point Cadet
Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, Producers/Directors, “The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” premiering on HBO, Tuesday, September 20
Mati Weiderpass, SLDN Board of Directors, former US Army Captain
Darren Manzella, SLDN client, former US Army Sergeant
The Center congratulations all of the activists whose tireless efforts led to this historic day, and pays special tribute to the LGBT people who have served and continue to serve courageously in our military.