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The end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

This morning at 12:01 a.m., "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the discriminatory policy that forced LGBT members of the military to hide their sexual orientation, officially came to an end. It's been a day of celebration for Americans, and both President Obama and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released statements to commemorate this historic day.

The President wrote:

"Today, the discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is finally and formally repealed.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. …

"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."

Rep. Wasserman Schultz wrote:

“Today, our nation adds another achievement in our promise to Americans that we are the land that guarantees freedom and equality for all of its citizens, as we formally put an end to the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. …

“I applaud President Obama for his successful leadership and steadfast commitment to putting an end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and I was proud to join my fair-minded colleagues in Congress who supported him in that effort last year. But most of all, to all of those in our nation’s armed forces who have been forced to hide their true identities, thank you for your service to our country. Today, we stand with you as our country takes this important step forward.”