Levin Statement on the End of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., issued the following statement today regarding the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

Don't Ask Don't Tell Press Conference

“Today’s repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ marks the end of a discriminatory policy and the beginning of a new era when gay and lesbian service members can serve their country openly, without living in constant fear of being outed and kicked out of the military. Their service will be judged based on their duty performance, not on their sexual orientation. Our military will be stronger because service members with skills and experience that our military needs will not face discharge because of who they are.

“Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, our senior military officer, put it best: This is an integrity issue, and there is no justification for a policy that requires our young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.

“Our nation now passes another milestone on the road to a more just and more tolerant society. As we do so, we pay tribute to those who worked so hard to bring us here. As we do so, we recognize the pain suffered by those who were treated unfairly along the way. As we do so, we praise those whose love of country was so strong that they fought to serve our country while suffering the wrong their country was imposing upon them.

“Our nation has proven once again that it can change, that we can remove unfair, discriminatory barriers and become, in the process, a stronger and a better nation.”