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Obama: ‘Don’t Ask’ Report Confirms Nation Is Ready for Change

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2010 – In a statement issued today, President Barack Obama urged the Senate to act swiftly so he can sign the repeal of the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law this year, citing the Defense Department’s report as proof that the nation “can transition to a new policy in a responsible manner.”

Here is the full text of the president’s statement:

As Commander in Chief, I have pledged to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law because it weakens our national security, diminishes our military readiness, and violates fundamental American principles of fairness and equality by preventing patriotic Americans who are gay from serving openly in our armed forces. At the same time, as Commander in Chief, I am committed to ensuring that we understand the implications of this transition, and maintain good order and discipline within our military ranks. That is why I directed the Department of Defense earlier this year to begin preparing for a transition to a new policy.

Today’s report confirms that a strong majority of our military men and women and their families -- more than two thirds -- are prepared to serve alongside Americans who are openly gay and lesbian. This report also confirms that, by every measure -- from unit cohesion to recruitment and retention to family readiness -- we can transition to a new policy in a responsible manner that ensures our military strength and national security. And for the first time since this law was enacted 17 years ago today, both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have publicly endorsed ending this policy.

With our nation at war and so many Americans serving on the front lines, our troops and their families deserve the certainty that can only come when an act of Congress ends this discriminatory policy once and for all. The House of Representatives has already passed the necessary legislation. Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally. Our troops represent the virtues of selfless sacrifice and love of country that have enabled our freedoms. I am absolutely confident that they will adapt to this change and remain the best led, best trained, best equipped fighting force the world has ever known.


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Related Sites:
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Report
Special Report: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Gates, Mullen "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Report Briefing


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

12/2/2010 4:14:14 PM
Gays don't rape, rapists rape. Rapists who happen to be gay or tall or short or blonde or whatever. If 100% of the rape cases reported were done by blondes, would you ban blondes? If you want to address the military's problem with sexual assault and rape, try fighting for/promoting more of a equal gender/sex environment to combat the gender essentialism that still strongly lingers within all branches. There's a lot to be done about the rape culture in and out of military, but preventing the blondes (queer individuals) from being in the military does nothing at all. So I suggest you use some other method to justify your homophobia :)
- A.M, Tallahassee FL

12/1/2010 9:51:45 PM
Homosexual activist groups themselves have admitted that less than three percent of Americans are homosexual or bisexual. FRC has reviewed the "case synopses" of all 1,643 reports of sexual assault reported by the four branches of the military for Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009). Our startling finding was that over eight percent (8.2%) of all military sexual assault cases were homosexual in nature. This suggests that homosexuals in the military are about three times more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals are, relative to their numbers.
- Enrique, NYC

12/1/2010 6:01:33 PM
I have not read the report (but I a planning to read the report) but I am strongly in support of repealing DADT. I think the response is overwhelming that our military members and many of the spouses don't think repealing the current policy will have a negative impact on military readiness. Our elected official has asked their contemporaries to withhold their opinion until the study was complete and now that the results may not necessary reflect their opinion they're now trying to look for other reasons for not doing the right thing and carry out the people's will. I petition to our elected congressional leaders to do the right thing and rescind DADT now.
- Jeff, Alabama

12/1/2010 1:54:33 PM
Ok, I am a woman, I served for 20 years but not in combat zones so many people are going to say my opion is not important! However, I know the fight when the Navy was integrated allowing a black sailor to work along side a white sailor. I know the fight when women were given a full share, when women were finally allowed on combat ships! I am sorry so many people are dead set against this but I know it is time to change. I am sorry many will be hurt by this. I know men and women that serve and have served in the military talk about all the times they have been hit on by a gay person. They say who wants to be hit on in a Foxhole. Come on guys! If a woman jumped into a foxhole with you do you honestly think they would be there to have sex! Get over yourself! It is time for a change and I will support this change 100%.
- Linda, Spokane, WA

12/1/2010 1:31:31 PM
Let's step out of our heteronormative privilege-denying perspective, shall we fellow commentators? First off,homosexuality is NOT linked to sexual assault/rape.Also,most of the cases that have been disclosed or even treated with any serious consequences in the military around sexual assault/rape have been centered around women whose primary attackers have been straight identifying males. The rape culture that's perpetuated in the military has nothing to do with homosexuality, but rather the the undertones of hyper-masculine brutality and essentialist sexism inherent within the system. Rape is about power not sexual desire.Being queer, to any degree, does not make that person want to assault someone else.The same is said for heterosexual identifying individuals. True, a whole lot needs to be done with the rape culture within the military but let me tell you, the main victims here aren't the straight cis gendered males.DADT is just another form of oppression that attacks one's identity.
- A.M, Tallahassee Florida

12/1/2010 12:49:00 PM
Repealing DADT will be a monumental momment. We should never descriminate against sexual orientation because this is America and if gays wish to fight and die for this country then what makes them different from the straight would-be recruit....nothing! "We the people" not "We the straight people". I cannot see how having a gay co-worker would effect my job unless i was the kind of guy that descriminates in which the military condemns and is punishable and anyone who descriminates has no place in the military! The berthing situation will be unique but no different from when women joined the ranks of the military and we preservered through that consolidation we should be able to do the same for gays. I respect everyone else opinion but i just dont see how i am wrong on this as we should not oppress any segment of the American population its just wrong.
- Zac, Fort Smith, AR

12/1/2010 11:59:21 AM
I hope you plan on coming up with a solution to how uncomfortable it will be for those straight, to have to share bunks and deal with knowing there's a homosexual amongst them. Don't forget to add a rainbow to the uniform as they will be ever so proud of what you have done to win their vote.
- Machelle, NC

12/1/2010 11:33:16 AM
I read this 161 page report (available to everyone now) Support to the DoD Comprehensive Review Working Group Analyzing the Impact of Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and to me, it clearly does NOT confirm that this Nation's Military and their Spouses are ready to repeal DADT. I also read another national survey to query active and retired military families about their thoughts on the repeal which was commissionned by The Center for Security Policy and nearly 63 percent of those questioned answered NO - they should not repeal DADT. The survey received responses from 10,028 families. So, I'm confused - where are all these people that want to repeal DADT? I'm guessing it's the folks that don't have a dog in the fight - those sitting by in their armchair and wanting to quarterback but not get out of the chair.
- Doug Humble, Millbrook, AL

12/1/2010 8:58:54 AM
Sure, he can allow in homosexuals into the military that way when they have service related injuries Obama can fairly try to force them to have they're private insurance companies pay for their pain and suffering for doing a service to his country.
- T, USA

11/30/2010 9:40:38 PM
What about the homosexual assault that has increase in the military in the past few years. Then what it's ok to be assault by a homosexual
- Enrique , NYC

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