Legislation to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Introduced in House
Today Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) announced at the Center for American Progress that she will introduce a bill to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2009
CONTACT: Kevin Nix
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Legislation to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Introduced in House
SLDN Praises Rep. Tauscher, Makes Announcement at Washington Think Tank
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) announced at the Center for American Progress that she will introduce a bill to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly.
"Rep. Tauscher's bill will significantly improve our military readiness by allowing highly qualified linguists, medics, and intelligence analysts to serve openly in the armed forces," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. "SLDN, as well as the 12,500 people who have been discharged under the law and the 3,000 men and women each year who choose not to enlist or re-enlist because of the law, owe the congresswoman our sincere gratitude."
The Military Enhancement Readiness Act (MREA) repeals the current ban on military service by openly lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans, commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It would replace the current law with new provisions prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in the Armed Forces. Last year, the MREA had 149 bipartisan cosponsors.
"This law has failed our country and our military for 15 years," said Rep. Tauscher. "It harms military readiness and discriminates against patriotic young men and women who want to serve their country. It's time for Congress to right this wrong."
Rep. Tauscher will be announcing her legislation at the Center for American Progress, 1333 H Street NW, 10th Floor, Washington, D.C.
"There is a window of opportunity to get repeal done this year," said Sarvis. "We urge the Commander-in-Chief to lead on this issue, particularly at a time, as reported last week by the Associated Press, when the Pentagon itself concluded the U.S. military is stressed, stretched, and strained."
SLDN is working with key allies to introduce parallel legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and related forms of intolerance. A journalists' guide to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is available here.