below, from the White House...
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2011
Statement by the President on the Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Today, the discriminatory law known as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is finally and formally repealed. As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service.
I was proud to sign the Repeal Act into law last December because I knew that it would enhance our national security, increase our military readiness, and bring us closer to the principles of equality and fairness that define us as Americans. Today's achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.
For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America's promise to all our citizens. Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans. Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation's founding ideals.
below, from Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina......
Today, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is officially over.
Gay men and lesbians in the military no longer have to hide who they are, and the servicemembers who were discharged under this policy can re-enlist.
This is one of the administration's signature achievements. Countless Americans fought hard to end this law over the course of nearly two decades, and President Obama is proud to have signed the repeal.
But today's news isn't just a policy promise kept -- it's a personal promise kept to the thousands of people who needed and deserved this change.
I want to share a video the campaign put together about some of the people affected by this law: four stories from men and women who served in the military during "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
You should watch the video and share it with everyone who cares about fairness and equality in America.
Before my current job, I was in the White House working on getting this done, and I can honestly say that repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is one of the greatest things I have ever been or ever will be a part of. I think about it every time I walk into my office, where I keep one of the pens the President used to sign the bill.
It's a reminder that -- as broken as Washington is and as long as change can take -- people and organizations can do amazing things when they work together and never waver from the vision that unites them.
Watch four people say what today means to them -- and let us know what it means to you:
There's a lot more to do in the months ahead. But today is one to savor.
Obama for America