Friday, December 23, 2011

One year after DADT and "the sky hasn't fallen," Engel says

It was one year ago yesterday that President Barack Obama signed the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, allowing gay and lesbian people to openly serve in the military. 

“Despite the naysayers who claimed all sorts of dire consequences for our armed forces, it is now one year since the DADT policy became history and the sky hasn’t fallen," Rep. Eliot Engel said. "Regardless of the bumpy road which led to the repeal, one thing is for sure – America’s military no longer discriminates against gay men and women who wish to serve our country – and is stronger because of it.  If you believe in one of the core tenets of our nation – all people are created equal and deserve equal rights under the law – then this has been a good change in policy.  The gay community still has a long way to go before they enjoy equal rights– the next step will be marriage equality – but this was a giant leap forward. 

 “Unit cohesion remains strong in our military and instead of a drop in recruitment, all four branches have either met or exceeded their recruiting goals.  Bravery and dedication have never been solely possessed by heterosexuals.  As the 1964 Republican Presidential Candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater, said, ‘You can be gay and still shoot straight.’  The sky didn’t fall on our military after discrimination against the gay community ended, I am sure that the institution of marriage will also survive once that restriction is lifted for all Americans someday.”

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