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President Signs Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Statement of Kathleen Taylor, Executive Director, ACLU of Washington

After 17 years, the unjust “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military has finally been relegated to the scrap heap of history.   The repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell means that thousands of active duty military personnel will soon be able to enjoy the freedoms and fair treatment that they are defending.  

Here in Washington state we are proud of the part we played in its downfall, and we are deeply grateful to the courageous gay and lesbian soldiers, like our client Major Margaret Witt, who not only served our country with dedication, but also stood up to prejudice and injustice.  They fought to return America to the principles it was found upon – and are worth fighting for – freedom and justice for all.

Congratulations to the many supporters of freedom and fairness who worked to make this day happen!  Thank you to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for their votes today and their long-standing efforts on behalf of equal rights.