The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, joins Americans in celebrating the end of the military’s discriminatory "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law. Today, service men and women no longer face removal for being open about their sexual orientation.
"America took a momentous step forward in the pursuit of full equality by fully repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and opening its military to every brave man and woman willing to serve, whether straight or gay," said Acting GLAAD President Mike Thompson. "At long last, gay and lesbian service members can serve their country openly and honestly. The courage, perseverance and patriotism displayed by the American military shines even more brightly today as our nation strengthens its national security and takes a firm stand against discrimination in our Armed Forces."
The law prevented the U.S. military from keeping all of its best and brightest in the ranks and was opposed by more than 80% of Americans.
GLAAD noted the strides that the military still needs to take before becoming fully equal. Transgender Americans are still unable to serve their country. Also, due to the Defense of Marriage Act, gay and lesbian Americans who legally marry their spouses, still may not have their marriages recognized by their employer, the state where they reside, or the federal government. This leaves gay and lesbian service members less able to care for their families, and less protected against potential tragedy.
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On this historic day, and in this time of celebration, GLAAD calls on the media to highlight the stories of men and women who have proudly served their country (or were unable to) and whose lives were impacted by this discriminatory law.