DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: One Year After the Official End of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Service Members Are Proudly Serving Our Country Without Having to Hide in the Shadows

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement today on the one-year anniversary of the official end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans from serving their country openly in the military:

“One year ago today, our nation took a historic step forward and affirmed once again that we truly are greater together, as we officially wiped the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy off the books. From its enactment in 1993 to its hard-won repeal, this discriminatory policy led to the unjust discharge of thousands of patriotic Americans—brave men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country even as they were forced to hide who they love. It needlessly undermined our nation’s military readiness, costing us significantly with the loss of mission-critical service members, military personnel, linguists and other key specialists. In so many fundamental ways, it was dishonorable, indefensible and contrary to who we are as a country—and we remain proud to say it’s a relic of the past.

“On the one-year anniversary of the official end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ we celebrate the incredible leadership of those who made this day possible: President Obama and the hard working members of his Administration, a fair-minded majority in the Congress that I was proud to join in voting to repeal this reprehensible policy, and all of the tireless champions for LGBT equality across the country—including the many brave servicemen and women who were unfairly discharged and those who still serve today. Today, we are honored to stand together as a nation where lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans can serve proudly and openly, and we salute all of America’s service members for their unparalleled dedication to our country.”